Stefano Pioli Shares Anecdotes on Relationship with Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Milan coach Stefano Pioli participated in an event in Biella yesterday and went behind the scenes on Zlatan Ibrahimovic: “He is a true character in everything he does. He certainly has a lot of personality. During the first year, he did not like a substitution, and he came to my office. He told me that it was his time to talk. I stood in the corner and listened. The following day I explained my reasoning, and he accepted.”

“It is easy to get along with Ibrahimovic because we are both straightforward persons. Our shared goal is to do what is best for the team. I am not afraid of having some confrontations, nor of recognizing that I am wrong. The same goes for him. He would never admit it, but he is the first one to take responsibility. He is brilliant and funny and made Milan grow a lot.”

After missing the first two rounds, Ibrahimovic will most likely return against Lazio: “He is practicing well, and I hope that does not change till Saturday so that he will be called up for that game. He can certainly play alongside Olivier Giroud. Great footballers can always partner, as long as they have the right mindset. They have different traits. The Frenchman is a reference point in the box, while Zlatan is an offensive playmaker at this point. We will try it when they are both 100 percent.” Giroud is isolating after contracting COVID, and he is poised to miss at least the next match.