Zlatan scored 10 league goals from 18 league appearances in the previous season and has already bagged 15 from 16 starts this season.
When a football fan hears “age is just a number”, a few names may come to mind. One of those names will surely be Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish striker has been around for over two decades now is not slowing down. Ibrahimovic will turn 40 in October and is all set to sign a new contract extension at AC Milan. It is not a scenario where a veteran striker is at a club to help out a team in a difficult situation, no. Milan is Italy’s biggest football club and Zlatan is a regular starter. As per The Athletic, the Swede’s decisiveness and role as a leader persuaded the Milan hierarchy to present him with a new one-year contract extension, keeping him at the club until 2022.
Ever since Zlatan Ibrahimovic arrived at the club, AC Milan’s fortunes have turned dramatically for the better. They currently sit second on the Serie A table, 10 points behind local rivals Inter Milan. Zlatan arrived at the club on a free transfer in January 2020, leaving Major League Soccer (MLS) side LA Galaxy. Despite his age, the Swede has proven that he can still make a difference in one of Europe’s top five leagues. Recent injuries and his family’s decision to stay in Sweden instead of moving to Milan might have cast a few doubts over his future but Zlatan had his mindset on prolonging his playing career.
His impact in the 2019-20 season saw Milan finish sixth and qualify for the Europa League. As a result, Zlatan got a contract extension until the end of the 2020-21 season. He scored 10 goals in 18 Serie A appearances and his form has not deteriorated this season either. This season, he has scored 15 league goals in 16 starts so far. Milan manager Stefano Pioli had already said that the club was discussing the Swede’s contract extension.
Zlatan’s performances have even earned him a place in the Swedish national football team. This is despite him retiring from international football five years ago! He will feature for the side in the upcoming Euros. He has already featured for Sweden in matches against Georgia and Kosovo.
“Zlatan is happy with us and I think the best thing about this team is that the players are happy. We are with a huge club, everyone wants to do well and I think it’s right that he continues playing, and that he does it with us,” Milan manager Pioli said. “He is an athlete who is highly motivated, is scrupulous in the way he looks after his body with everything from diet to recovery. He’s tired, but you don’t stay at this level for this long without looking after yourself,” he concluded.