Continue or stop? Absent for seven to eight months, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan) already has an idea…

For a good month, Zlatan Ibrahimovic decided to take his troubles patiently. Focused on the final rush of this crazy scudetto race, the AC Milan striker, in agreement with his club, even underwent a tailor-made program for several weeks, alternating individual program and collective training. The goal ? To come into play during the last ten to fifteen minutes of the matches to give his contribution in the quest for the title.

If he did not find the net, the Swede managed to bring his stone to the building, as during the victory in extremis against Lazio (1-2) on April 24, where he delivered an assist for the start of Sandro Tonali. Rebelote against Fiorentina (1-0) a week later, where his pressing resulted in a recovery error from the Viola goalkeeper preceding the opening of the Lombard score. And when he sometimes felt that his body was not following him, the former PSG striker preferred to pass his turn, as during the match on the lawn of Torino in early April. But his presence in the locker room, where he multiplied the speeches, and on the bench, was “capital” according to the words of his trainer.

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In the end, Zlatan did well to grit his teeth. Returning in January 2020 when AC Milan was traveling in troubled waters, the forties managed to complete a mission which then seemed unachievable: to win his team a new scudetto. The Gazzetta dello Sport even gave him a mark of 8/10 for his season, although truncated by injuries: “An exaggerated rating in relation to the number of matches played? Zlatan is as important as Pioli in the construction of this Milan. He was the soul of the renaissance and this must be recognized today.“, wrote the daily. But this Wednesday, after two days of a huge party in the streets of the Lombard capital, the ax fell: Ibrahimovic will have to miss seven to eight months of competition. It was probably the price to pay , and Zlatan knew it.

Arthroscopy had been scheduled for some time to permanently resolve the instability of the joint through reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament, with lateral reinforcement and repair of the meniscus.“, said the club crowned Italian champions on Sunday in a press release. What now?

Milan does not close the door to an extension

If the news has somewhat scuttled the morale of the Milanese tifosi, on a cloud since last Sunday, it was expected by the parties involved. The one who will celebrate his 41st birthday next October wanted to have surgery now for a simple reason: to come back as soon as possible. Indeed, the hypothesis of a possible retirement is not relevant. It is not totally ruled out, of course, since everything will depend on the next few weeks and the evolution of his convalescence. But today, Zlatan wants to continue his career, even after this new tile. And the Milan leaders, Paolo Maldini (technical director) and Frederic Massara (sporting director) in the lead, are always open to this possibility.

For them, their striker will never be a burden. If he decides to hang up his crampons, his choice will obviously be respected. But if this desire to continue is confirmed, the Milan staff is ready to extend his lease, well aware of his importance in the locker room. This Wednesday, the Corriere della Sera also mentioned in its edition of the day an annual contract with a salary of 2.5 million euros, in addition to bonuses linked to the objectives.

Winner of his 34th title on Sunday, Zlatan had implied this possibility before his speech which went viral on social networks. “Don’t worry guys I ain’t quitting or whatever“, he joked before addressing his teammates. And the trend has certainly not changed since.”In any case, it will never be a problem of money, but only of physical condition and willpower“, we are told within the Lombard club, which has closed behind the scenes the arrival of Divock Origi from Liverpool.

The break for the World Cup can favor his return

If this absence of seven or eight months is confirmed, the Milan number 11 should therefore miss the entire first part of the season for his team. In order not to lose contact with his teammates, part of his rehabilitation should also take place on the side of Milanello, where the medical staff of the Lombard club will monitor the progress of his convalescence without rushing it. In the event of complications, the deal could change regarding his near future, even if no one wants to take this hypothesis into account. The break linked to the World Cup in Qatar, scheduled after the weekend of November 12-13 and probably until January 5-6, 2023, could be a strong ally.

Zlatan’s twilight: “His physique is starting to tell him to stop”

In the best of all possible worlds, Ibrahimovic could therefore make his return at the very beginning of next year at 41 years old. Otherwise, a retraining as a leader within his club cannot be ruled out. Always according to Corriere della Sera, this hypothesis is well on the table on the side of Casa Milan, the headquarters of the club. Today, however, this is not plan A. Despite a legitimate sense of duty accomplished, Zlatan intends to continue his mission… on the ground.

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