Ibrahimovic likens himself to Benjamin Button after two-goal performance

 thehindu.com  08/02/2020 04:49:04 

Irrepressible AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic likened himself to film character Benjamin Button after scoring twice in a 4-1 Serie A win at Sampdoria.

People tell me I'm old and tired but I'm just getting warmed up, the Swede told Milan's TV channel. The 38-year-old, possibly playing the final match of his second stint at the club, took his tally to 10 league goals since returning in January and became the oldest player to score 10 or more goals in a Serie A season.

Im like Benjamin Button, except Ive always been young, never old, he added, referring to the main character in a 2008 Oscar-winning Hollywood movie about a man who ages in reverse.

After struggling in the first half of the season, Milan have lost only twice since Ibrahimovic's arrival.

It's obvious that Ibra has been very important for our improvement, although it wasn't just his arrival, it was also the work we did in the previous months, said Milan coach Stefano Pioli, whose side are sixth in Serie A.

Ibrahimovic's contract expires at the end of the season and Pioli said it was up to the club directors to negotiate an extension.

I can't do much about the financial side, he said. (Ibrahimovic) tells me that he feels good, that he's happy, and he proves it with the work he does every day.

AC Milans own goal

AC Milan went ahead with an own goal by Ragnar Klavan in the 11th minute. Rafael Leao hit the post from a narrow angle but the ball bounced off the Estonian defender and into the net.

Leao also rattled the crossbar before Milan were awarded a penalty for handball by Sebastian Walukiewicz one minute before halftime. However, Ibrahimovic's spot kick was saved by Alessio Cragno.

Ibrahimovic made amends when he scored with an emphatic finish from Samu Castillejo's pass in the 55th minute, and Castillejo exchanged passes with Giacoma Bonaventura to score the third two minutes later.

Milan, unbeaten since the season restarted in June, finished sixth with 66 points and will play in the Europa League qualifying rounds next season.

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