He lost the derby, not his pride and not even his smile. “It was hard, we made many mistakes, but we will recover, don’t worry” he said outright Ibrahimovic to the correspondent from Striscia who delivered the Tapir to him, the sixth in his career. Unlike the Inter technician Antonio Conte, who a few days ago was scoured away in a car resentful, Ibra accepted it, even giving a half smile. Nothing strange: over the years Zlatan has also become a formidable showman, he knows the rules and adapts. Of course, speaking of shows, one wonders if today, after such a derby and with a Milan that has already lost 5 games in the new year, he would still accept the proposal of Rai to be present on the stage of the Sanremo Festival, but now it is gone : the agreement was signed in the summer, before the renewal with Milan. The cachet for the five evenings should be around 250 thousand euros net, therefore 50 thousand per evening. “But for now I’m only focused on matches” the 39-year-old from Malmoe cut short when asked how he plans to organize himself.
The question is by no means simple. And it is clear that, even before the derby no one inside the club jumped for joy for the extra guests of an employee who comes paid 7 million euros net a year, now even less. But at the same time, always inside the club, everyone knows that no one knows himself and his body like Zlatan, who did not get to play at these levels at 39 by chance, but precisely because he knows how to manage himself like very few other athletes at the world.
This is why the serenity that filters through the fourth floor of Casa Milan is not a facade. An outline program, in absolute tranquility, has already been established Monday during a meeting between Maldini, Pioli and the player. The final one, however, will be drawn up only next Monday. Not surprisingly, given that Sunday evening Milan will be at the Olimpico against Roma for a duel that could mark the season. Basically Ibra and the club will decide how to organize themselves in detail for the following week only after the outcome of that fundamental match.
The hot topic is training. The helicopter is evaluated instead of the car to cover the 350 kilometers, but the general idea is to avoid as much as possible a tiring daily commute on the Milanello-Sanremo axis and stop on the Riviera together with a trainer on Thursday and perhaps even Friday, a night or two. But Zlatan was the first to reiterate that, if the situation remains delicate, it would be better to train with the team every day. There are two certainties for now. The first is that on Wednesday 3 he will be on the field against Udinese at the San Siro at 20.45 and the presence will be on television. The second is that Saturday 6, on the evening of the final, as soon as his participation is over he will go directly to the training camp in Verona where Milan will play on Sunday at 15. Not the best of a night trip before such a delicate match, but it is.
In the derby he was the only one to save himself, but it is indisputable that since he returned from the calf injury Zlatan has no longer kept the pace of the first round. He has only scored in two of his last seven league games. And in fact Milan have lost three times. The good news is that the pain in his calf that had forced him to leave the field on Sunday before the end was nothing serious, just a cramp. Despite this, Thursday against the Red Star in the return leg of the round of 32 of the Europa League he should not start as a starter. Sunday’s race in Rome is too important. A success could bring the Devil closer to the Champions goal. And make the Sanremo grain a little less annoying.
February 23, 2021 (change February 23, 2021 | 07:27)
© REPRODUCTION RESERVED