Zlatan Ibrahimovic explains why Milan felt as much of a challenge as Manchester United. ‘When everyone says it’s impossible, that's what fires me up.’
The 39-year-old spoke to Sky Sport Italia in an interview with his former teammate Massimo Ambrosini and they met at the Milanello training ground.
“This feels like my home. I am in no rush to go back after a day of work, because this is already home,” said Zlatan.
“I remember when I first arrived 10 years ago. We’d just played Barcelona-Milan a week earlier and you were all in the tunnel telling me to come back with you to Milan. There was (then CEO Adriano) Galliani, who came to my house in Barcelona, and said he wouldn’t leave until I agreed to come too.
“The situation at Barcelona wasn’t clear and I still don’t know what the real problem was. I had other offers, but I chose Milan because I already knew the city, and also when a big club like Milan calls, it motivates you, it means something. I hoped, in fact I knew, that we’d win something.”
Ibrahimovic has lost none of his self-belief and assures he sees challenges everywhere he goes.
“When everyone says it’s impossible, that’s what fires me up. It’s better to bring a club back to the top rather than already joining a top team. You have to help the others realise what it means to be at the top.
“When I came back to Milan, it felt like the same situation as Manchester United, when everyone said the tempo of the Premier League was too much for me. I tend to do the opposite of what everyone says about me.”
Despite a devastating knee injury at Manchester United, Ibra went on to a spell with the LA Galaxy and returned to make the difference at Milan in Serie A and the Europa League.
“I was a different player 10 years ago, as I’d track back to get the ball, but now I see that as a waste of energy and I am not helpful to the team. I am training hard, as with age, it’s important to understand how you are doing physically. I feel better than before.”