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Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic has no plans to retire while feeling fit, insisting that “ego” will not influence his decision.
Ibrahimovic had an excellent start to the season with Serie A leaders Milan, scoring 11 goals in 10 games, before suffering a hamstring injury last month.
The veteran forward has impressed since returning to the Serie A club earlier in the year, though there is still talk of his future after he turned 39 in October.
But Ibrahimovic, who is signed until the end of the season, said he wanted to continue while he could.
“As long as I still feel good. Because when the years go by, we no longer talk about quality, but only about how you are physically, “he told Sky Sport.
“If you are physically well you can do it, like [Francesco] Totti. But it applies to everyone. It is not a lack of quality, if you are in the right physical condition you can do it.
“That is the important thing, losing quality is impossible. It’s whether you can do it physically or not. “
– Zlatan Ibrahimovic (@Ibra_official) November 23, 2020
Ibrahimovic returned to Europe earlier this year after two seasons with the LA Galaxy.
The former Swedish international said he would be realistic about his future, revealing that he turned to MLS after uncertainty about whether he could still deliver in Europe.
“Because you still think that you are stronger, you still think that you can, and you are unrealistic in understanding that you may not be able to do it anymore. And I don’t have this ego, I’m realistic, ”said Ibrahimovic.
“Why did I go to America? As I wanted to start from scratch, I thought that perhaps, after the injury, I would no longer be able to do the things I did before at Manchester United. said [Jose] Mourinho, ‘Don’t call me anymore, with all due respect I’m no longer the Ibra I was before. I was being realistic with myself, my ego sank, so I went to America to start from scratch.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but after two years I felt alive and said, ‘Let’s go back to Europe and see if I can do it or not.’ That’s why I signed up for six months, to evaluate myself. I have my vision, my confidence, but then everything depends on the results on the field.
“It’s one thing to have vision and confidence and then go into the field only to be told you can’t take it anymore. It doesn’t really matter what people say, because you don’t have to be influenced from the outside, you have to trust. That is why I say that everything is ego. “
After signing a short-term deal with Milan, Ibrahimovic made a commitment to the club for 2020-21 in August, but said he had initially told coach Stefano Pioli that he was leaving.
“I’ll tell you how it went. Pioli asks me: ‘What do you want to do?’ I reply, ‘In my opinion, I am not going to move on.’ I said, ‘No, I’m not continuing. That’s enough. ‘”