Inter Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu has ripped into AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, claiming that the Swede does not exhibit age-appropriate maturity. The former AC Milan player also proved his loyalty to his current employers, claiming that they were “much stronger” than the Rossoneri.
Ibrahimovic is one of the most colorful characters in football, equally known for his biology-defying on-field displays and entertaining interviews. Following AC Milan’s first Serie A win in 11 years in the 2021-22 season, the former Paris Saint-Germain man could not help but give himself some credit for it.
In a recent interview (via Sportstar), Ibrahimovic claimed how he “promised to take Milan back to the top,” adding that he was standing “as a champion now.” Additionally, during Milan’s title celebrations, Ibrahimovic mocked Calhanoglu, urging the club’s supporters to “send a message to Hakan” (via GiveMeSport).
In an interview published on Tivibu Spor’s Youtube channel, Calhanoglu fired back, calling Ibrahimovic an attention-seeking person, adding that he did not contribute to Milan’s title win. He said (via Instant Foot):
“He's a 40-year-old guy, I wouldn't act like that if I was that age, he's not 18. He likes to be the centre of attention. This year he didn't contribute to the Scudetto, he hardly played.”
The Turk also took a swipe at AC Milan, asserting that Inter were a considerably better team.
He added (via Instant Foot):
“I played for Milan for four seasons, but no fans were shouting my name from the stands, things that happen every time I warm up before the game with Inter. Inter are a much stronger team than Milan.”
In the 2021-22 season, Ibrahimovic featured in 23 Serie A games, recording eight goals and three assists.
Ibrahimovic played without an ACL to help Milan to the Serie A title
Following AC Milan’s title win, the 40-year-old star revealed that he played the last six months of the season without an ACL (left knee). The forward supposedly “emptied the knee once a week for six months,” taking “painkillers every day for six months” (via CNN). Given how much he suffered, his eight-goal contribution does not seem anything less than miraculous.
Fortunately, the player has undergone successful knee surgery. The prognosis states seven to eight months of recovery time, meaning he is not expected to play again before 2023.