Rafael Leao has claimed Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a player he used on the Play Station: ‘Now I play with him in real life.’
The Portuguese winger returned from an injury and played about 20 minutes in Milan’s 1-0 away win over Sparta Prague in Europa League on Thursday.
"Since we returned to the pitch after the lockdown, we approached each game as if it were a final,” he told CBS after last evening's match.
"When we have a game, we know we have to give 100% because this club won seven Champions League. Whether it’s Coppa Italia or Europa League, we don’t care: we always want to win,” he continued.
“If we lose, we will improve and learn from defeat. The club give us confidence, we have no pressure, we just enjoy the games.
“When the coach tells us not to feel the pressure and have fun, it is important for a young footballer to listen to him.”
The Portuguese has fulfilled the dream of playing with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“He is a player I used on the Play Station, now I play with him in real life," the 21-year-old revealed.
“Every day with him is an opportunity to improve, I am very proud and I am trying to listen to him and to become a better player every day. Outside the pitch he plays and he jokes. On the field, he is different. He is rude and no longer jokes.
“When you have him on the field, you can beat any team. It doesn’t matter who they are. Ibrahimovic is an icon: when you have him on the team, you can achieve great goals.
“We have Ibrahimovic who brought experience as he has played in the Champions League and won the Europa League. We have young players and a great coach like Stefano Pioli.”
Jens Petter Hauge is one of the newcomers and has already scored four goals in all competitions. He has found the net in the last two successive Europa League games, against Celtic and Sparta Praha.
“When we got back in the locker room for the break of Milan-Celtic, I told him, 'Brother, keep it up, I’m sure you will score'. He’s my teammate. When he helps the team, he’s helping me.”