Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he is more in demand at the age of 38 than he was 10 years ago and is adapting his game as he gets older.
The Swedish forward said this as he was officially presented by AC Milan on Friday.
Ibrahimovic has rejoined the club he left seven years ago for a six-month stint, with an option to extend his stay.
But there are questions over how much impact he can have on the fallen giants who are languishing in 11th in Serie A.
In their last match, AC Milan produced a pitiful display as they were thumped 5-0 at Atalanta, their joint-heaviest Serie A defeat.
Ibrahimovic helped AC Milan win their last major trophy, the Serie A title in 2010/2011.
He left to join Paris St-Germain (PSG) the following year in a move that he said on Friday was against his will.
The Swede has been a free agent since leaving Los Angeles Galaxy in November.
“At 38, I have received more offers than at 28,” he told reporters.
“The last time I left AC Milan, it was without my approval. But the situation was what it was… The important thing is that I am here now.”
Ibrahimovic said he still had passion for football but had learned to adapt with age.
“Each year is different. Physically you change with every year that goes by,” he added.
“But experience teaches you to do things differently. If you’re an intelligent player, you know what you can and cannot do… Instead of running, I can shoot from long distance.”
The forward however promised he would not go easy on his younger team mates.
“I’m meaner than before,” he said. “They know what I am like, how I train and play each match.
“You have to work hard. You have to know how to suffer, otherwise you don’t reach your maximum potential.
“Not everyone likes to suffer but I do… and I expect a lot from my team mates.”
AC Milan’s next match is at home to Sampdoria in Serie A on Monday.
There was however no mention of whether Ibrahimovic, who has not played since October, would make his debut that quickly.
(Edited by: Olawale Alabi)https://nnn.ng/ibrahimovic-says-hes-been-receiving-more-offers-now-than-10-years-ago/
Ligue 1: Mbappe shines as PSG hit top gear against Nice
France forward Kylian Mbappe marked his return to action with a vintage performance and a goal as champions Paris St Germain rediscovered their form with an impressive 3-0 win at Nice in Ligue 1 on Sunday.
Mbappe, who missed the opening three games after contracting the coronavirus, fired PSG ahead with a 38th-minute penalty.
He also had a big part in Angel Di Maria’s strike before Marquinhos headed home the third in the second half.
PSG made a sluggish start to their campaign as they lost the opening two matches and eked out a last-gasp 1-0 home win over Metz on Wednesday but they tore Nice apart with sublime skill and crisp one-touch passing.
Mbappe blasted his spot-kick into the roof of the net after he was fouled by Khephren Thuram and Nice goalkeeper Waller Benitez could only parry the forward’s crisp low shot for Di Maria to sweep home the rebound.
The visitors missed a string of chances in the second half with striker Mauro Icardi hitting the post, before Marquinhos added the third with a glancing header from a Di Maria cross.
Ander Herrera also hit the woodwork with a deflected shot in the first half while the home side were denied by acrobatic goalkeeping from Keylor Navas.
The result lifted PSG to seventh place on six points from four games, with Nice slipping to 10th also on six points.
In Sunday’s other stand-out fixtures, second-placed St Etienne, who have a maximum nine points from three games, visit 14th-placed Nantes and Olympique Marseille in eighth are at home to fourth-placed Lille.
Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Peter Ejiofor)
Ex-FIFA secretary general, BeIN sports chairman go on trial over TV rights
Former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke and the chairman of Qatar-based media group BeIN Sports, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, went on trial in Switzerland on Monday.
Both men were docked over the award of television rights for the World Cup and Confederations Cup.
The 59-year-old Valcke, already banned by FIFA’s ethics committee for 10 years for ethics violations, has been charged with accepting bribes, aggravated criminal mismanagement and falsification of documents.
Al-Khelaifi, who is also president of French champions Paris St-Germain (PSG) and a former Davis Cup tennis player for Qatar, has been charged with inciting Valcke to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement.
The 46-year-old Al-Khelaifi, who also sits on the executive committee of European football body UEFA, is regarded as one of the most powerful men in European football.
Both men, who were present in court, deny wrongdoing and Al-Khelaifi’s lawyers have said that the majority of the case does not apply to their client.
The trial in Switzerland, which is where FIFA is based, is expected to last until Sept. 25.
The three federal judges are expected to deliver a verdict by the end of October.
The Swiss attorney general’s office has alleged that between 2013 and 2015 Valcke exploited his FIFA role to influence some deals “to favour media partners that he preferred”.
This is the award of media rights for various World Cup and Confederations Cup tournaments.
Valcke also received exclusive use of a villa belonging to Al-Khelaifi in Sardinia for 18 months, it said.
He made use of the property without having to pay a rent estimated at between 900,000 euros (1.07 million dollars) and 1.8 million euros (2.13 million dollars).
Valcke, 59, was secretary general of world football’s ruling body for eight years until 2015, overseeing the organisation of the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 and Brazil in 2014.
Swiss prosecutors have been investigating corruption surrounding FIFA since 2015, when the global football body became embroiled in the worst corruption scandal in its history.
The scandal led to its President Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini being banned from the sport, while several dozen officials were indicted in the United States on corruption-related charges.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Neymar, 4 others sent off as Marseille grab rare win at PSG
Olympique Marseille earned a smash-and-grab 1-0 win at Ligue 1 champions Paris St-Germain (PSG) on Sunday in a match which saw five players sent off and two goals disallowed.
Forward Florian Thauvin struck in the 31st minute of a pulsating though ill-tempered match at the Parc des Princes for Marseille’s first league win over PSG since November 2011.
Thauvin scored against the run of play, steering in a Dimitri Payet free-kick inside the near post from close range.
This was after the home side had come close through Marco Verratti and Neymar, who also missed a pair of chances in the second half.
Littered by crunching fouls at either end in the first half, the game produced some free-flowing football after the break.
Visiting goalkeeper Steve Mandanda pulled off several superb saves and both sides had goals disallowed for offside.
Angel Di Maria’s effort for PSG was ruled out in the 62nd minute.
Marseille substitute Dario Benedetto’s scorcher was also scrapped two minutes later as Thauvin, who unleashed the initial shot, was marginally behind the last PSG defender.
But Marseille’s rugged defence held firm as the 1993 European Cup winners made it two wins out of two.
A full scale brawl broke out on the pitch in the last minute of stoppage time.
It forced referee Jerome Brisard to send off PSG’s Neymar, Laywin Kurzawa and Leandro Paredes, as well as Marseille’s duo of Benedetto and Jordan Amavi.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Neymar “super happy’’ to return to training with PSG
Brazilian forward Neymar said on Friday he was “super happy” to return to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) training.
His comments have come a day after the French Ligue 1 champions lost their delayed season-opener 1-0 to Lens.
The French football federation said Mbappe tested positive for the coronavirus between the 2020/2021 UEFA Nations League matches involving France recently.
These were against Sweden —- where he scored the winner —- and at home to Croatia —- where he did not play.
PSG said several other unnamed players in their squad had also tested positive for Covid-19.
From their regular eleven, Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria were also missing.
Neymar concluded his Tweet with the message “#CORONAOUT.”
They will host traditional rivals Marseille in the league on Sunday.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)