Ibrahimovic leads the «baby Milan»

Carlos Tristan GonzálezCarlos Tristan González




Before the majesty of Milan Cathedral Time might seem to stand still, or at least move more slowly; Perhaps that is why the wait to see him again has become so long. Milan competing in honor of its history. Ten years have passed since its last «scudetto» and it can be said that the «rossonero» ensemble is in a position to regain control of the A league. However, the current situation has little or nothing to do with that of 2011, beyond the fact that the same footballer thrashes in both teams, a fireproof Zlatan Ibrahimovic that their 39 years and with ten goals He is the league’s leading scorer. And it is that a decade ago, Milan, without knowing it, but sensing it, gave the last blows before a journey through the desert that has led them not to play the Champions League since 2013/14. A drought for the seven-time champion of Europe which, judging by the results, could put an end to this season.

From that Milan, there is hardly the «rossonero» and Ibrahimovic – after passing through France and the United States -, because for missing, there is even Silvio Berlusconi, who in 2017 sold the club to the Chinese conglomerate Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux. A year later, the American group Elliott Management Corporation took control after the previous property defaulted on debt repayment terms and its project failed. How serious the situation had to be that was sold as an achievement to avoid administrative decline: “We saved the club from bankruptcy, from relegation to Serie D. We are working with passion to return to Europe,” he said then.

After signing nine coaches since 2014, it seems that at last the sports direction, headed by Paolo Maldini, has hit the key. Milan, which since the 2007 Champions League has been withering to become the official retirement of old glories, today has the youngest squad in Serie A, with an average of 25 years, and one of the youngest in the big leagues. A statistic that revalues ​​their situation in the league: without any defeat and with only two draws, Milan, which tonight visits the Sampdoria field, governs the football with authority and is, against all odds, the favorite to break the hegemony of the JuventusChampion by decree since that last “scudetto” of Milan in 2011.

A veteran among young people

It is a renaissance, that of Milan, in which young people like Donnaruma, Theo, Kessié, Saelemaekers or Leão have become essential in the scheme of Stefano Pioli, but that paradoxically has in Ibrahimovic, the oldest outfield player in Serie A, to its main star. “I consider myself like Benjamin Button, I rejuvenate with each passing day,” he said recently. From his boots, for example, was born the double that consummated the first victory of the “Derby della Madonnina” since 2016. To the amazement of many, his return last winter was the icing on the cake for a team that was languishing to the astonishment of the rest of Europe: “The first question they asked me when I returned was about all the ex who had returned and had not performed up to expectations, unable to repeat what they did in their first experience in Milan. What would have been the difference in my case? I simply replied: ‘I have never lost my passion for what I do,’ “said the Swede, as if it were a premonition.

Of course, his arrival was not without controversy. In the middle of a rejuvenating project, it did not seem very coherent to bet on someone so veteran. But it is advisable not to rush to judge when speaking of Ibrahimovic, as time has shown that such arguments are not valid with him, insatiable competitor as it is: «For me, it was a great challenge to come back to try to change the mentality, change the situation and transmit to the team, to the players, what Milan was. The Milan that I know, that everyone knows ». Ibra, a leader on and off the field who has fit like a glove in a squad where he is accompanied by young people like According to the, without opportunities at Real Madrid, which has found its best version in Italy.

After so many years, Milan finally seems to have found its best version, the one that has not been enjoyed at San Siro since the time of Seedorf and company. A renewal strategy promulgated from the property that begins to bear fruit: “We have to build a solid and coherent club, with defined objectives and managed in a clear and orderly way. This is a prerequisite for success. No choice. We can buy stars, but without a sports structure we will not get very far ”, he declared in 2018 Paolo Scaroni, president of the entity since that year. A path not devoid of thorns in which, little by little, this Milan begins to show its head, avoiding the death to which the giant «rossonero» seemed condemned.

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