x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Ibrahimovic says move from Barca down to Guardiola

Zlatan Ibrahimovic again pointed the finger at Pep Guardiola, the Barcelona coach, to explain his premature exit from the Catalan giants.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic poses with an AC Milan shirt on Sunday night before the team's game with Lecce.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic poses with an AC Milan shirt on Sunday night before the team's game with Lecce.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic again pointed the finger at Pep Guardiola, the Barcelona coach, to explain his premature exit from the Catalan giants. The 28-year-old signed for AC Milan over the weekend on an initial one-year loan with a pre-arranged ?24 million (Dh111.9m) permanent deal arranged for the end of the season. He had spent just one year in Spain following a ?50m plus Samuel Eto'o switch from Inter Milan.

And the Sweden forward said there was just one man to blame. "I only had problems with one person [Guardiola]. I got on great with my teammates and I want to take this opportunity to say that I had a great relationship with both the club and the fans," he told the La Gazzetta dello Sport. Ibrahimovic, who was due to undergo a medical yesterday, said it was like returning home as he comes back to the country where he spent five years with Milan's arch rivals Juventus and Inter.

"You live well in Barcelona but after Sweden, Italy is my adopted country," he said. "In five years in Italy, myself and my family felt at home." Now though comes the real business of trying to propel Milan back to the Serie A summit and end Inter's five-year domination of the scudetto. "I've come back to Italy to win as much as possible and score even more goals than in the past," said the Serie A top goalscorer from 2008/09.

"I feel incredibly excited and my strength is that I always look for new goals. In the next four years [the length of his contract] this team can win everything." "With Dinho [Ronaldinho] and Pato we're amongst the best [attacks] in Europe, and let's not forget [Marco] Borriello and [Filippo] Inzaghi." Milan began their season in wiinning fashion on Sunday, beating Lecce 4-0 at the San Siro Stadium. Alexandre Pato scored twice, while Thiago Silva and Inzaghi, a substitute, also netted.

* Associated Press