Friday July 10 2020
Ibrahimovic: 'If this is Milan, I won't stay'

Zlatan Ibrahimovic confirms his confrontation with CEO Ivan Gazidis. ‘If this is the situation, it’s unlikely you’ll see me at Milan next season. I am practically playing for free.’

In a snippet of the full interview Ibra gave to La Gazzetta dello Sport magazine Sportweek, which is released on Saturday, the Swede tore down the club’s current chiefs.

“Ibra plays to win something or he stays at home,” he replied when asked about his future.

“They told me that retiring in America was too easy, so I came back to Milan. I am here purely for passion, because I’m basically playing for free… Then this COVID situation stopped everything and I thought, maybe there’s something trying to tell me that I should retire…

“Fortunately, we got back on the pitch. My calf managed to get involved too, but after two days I was ready to come back into the team. Ibra is like that. But they told me to take it slow."

The 38-year-old has lost none of his verve, nor his tendency to talk about himself in the third person, but is he considering retirement?

“Ibra was born to play football and is still the best at playing football. We’ll see how I feel in two months. We’ll also see what’s happening with the club. If this is the situation, to be honest, it’s unlikely you’ll see me at Milan next season.

“Ibra is not a player for the Europa League and Milan are not a club who belong in the Europa League.”

The response was similar when questioned on those reports of the infamous face-to-face confrontation with CEO Ivan Gazidis at the training ground just before the Coppa Italia semi-final.

“I spoke for me and for the team. I needed to have some explanations on the future, both mine and of Milan. I said that this is not the Grande Milan I once experienced, that is true, but we must do the best we can even in this situation. All the way to the end.

“Ibra is here, Ibra takes care of it. I have to be here or you’ll lose the fans. I don’t know if there will be another club after Milan, I never like to close doors to opportunities.

“I will only go somewhere I have some control, not where words are worth nothing. I still have too much passion for what I do.”

Coach Stefano Pioli is getting strong results, but Milan have given up trying to deny they are in talks with Ralf Rangnick. Is Ibrahimovic impressed?

"Who is Rangnick? I don't even know who he is."