Tuesday August 7 2012
El Shaarawy: 'Heavy-handed Ibra'

Stephan El Shaarawy is looking forward to leading the new Milan and admits Zlatan Ibrahimovic “was a little heavy-handed” in the locker room with his teammates.

The ‘Little Pharaoh’ is going to be given more of a role at San Siro after Ibra was sold to PSG.

“I like Massimiliano Allegri, as he gives me space and says I need to improve, which is true,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Last year people said he didn’t have faith in me, but in the end I did make 28 appearances. I am satisfied with the opportunities I had. I could’ve scored more than four goals, but that’s fine and I know that I have to work as hard as possible.”

Ibrahimovic took on the teacher role of sorts for El Shaarawy, often spotted shouting at him during games.

“I know, he never wants anyone to make a mistake and at times was a little heavy-handed, but he was doing it to motivate me and keep me fired up. Besides, he did it with everyone, not just me.

“Let’s say Ibra was an important presence on the field and in the locker room... Nobody wants to even lose the training games between ranks here, as it’s a battle every day.

“We won many games without Ibrahimovic, you know. We are a team and not a bad one. We’ve got less quality without him and Thiago Silva, but there will be more responsibility on everyone’s shoulders and we can build here. I am optimistic.”

Milan have shown their interest in Kaka and should hold negotiations with Real Madrid over the next few days.

“I’d love to know Kaka and learn from him, as I’ve heard he is a great man. Naturally, he’s also an incredible player,” added El Shaarawy.

“Of my current teammates, I get on really well with Antonio Cassano, as he always sends you clear in front of goal. Robinho is technically very gifted, though he makes a few mistakes in front of goal.”

Finally, the Italian-Egyptian revealed why he keeps his trademark mohawk hairstyle.

“Ibra and Cassano threatened to cut it off a few times, but never got scissors in their hands. The girls really like it, so I keep it...”

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