Monday December 30 2019
Cassano: 'Ibrahimovic raises Milan level'

Antonio Cassano trusts Zlatan Ibrahimovic can still make the difference, but “80-85 per cent of his current teammates don’t deserve to be at Milan,” while Napoli were right to sack Carlo Ancelotti.

FantAntonio has retired from football and just earned his qualifications to become a director of sport, but in the meantime is expressing his opinions on everything including Juventus, Inter and Maurizio Sarri.

He is above all intrigued by Ibrahimovic’s return to Serie A and specifically Milan, where they were teammates for six months in 2011.

“I expected this return, as I always said that if he came back to Italy, it would be for Milan,” Cassano told Sky Sport Italia.

“He is very fond of the city and this club. After Ronaldo and Marco van Basten, I’d say Ibrahimovic is the best Number 9 of the last 30 years. He’s still phenomenal, despite his age.

“Zlatan makes his teammates give 110 per cent and can still make the difference in Serie A. He’ll have to, because 80-85 per cent of the current squad do not deserve to be at Milan.

“I am sure Ibra will get the best out of them, because if they don’t give 100 per cent in every training session, he raises his voice. When he does that, you’d better be scared.

“I also have faith in Paolo Maldini and Zvonimir Boban, they deserve more patience. They’ve got Ibra now, there is talk of Jean-Clair Todibo from Barcelona, so I think Milan can get back to the top in two-three years.”

Cassano also has a lot of time for new Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso, who took Milan to within a point of Champions League football last season.

“Carlo Ancelotti was not doing well, so Napoli were right to fire him, as this club should always be in the top three. Gattuso has really surprised me, because when he started out as a coach, I didn’t think he’d be this good.

“He always tells you what he thinks, even if it’s in his own unique way. Gattuso has real character and big ideas. They used to say he failed at Milan, but instead they had an extraordinary season with pretty average players.”

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