Zlatan Ibrahimovic played it cool when asked whether the current AC Milan side are capable of winning the Scudetto this season.
Ibrahimovic showed his decisiveness once again as Milan continued their perfect start to the Serie A season with a 2-1 win over Inter at San Siro on Saturday.
All the action would be in the first half as the Swede scored twice in the opening 16 minutes, the first a penalty converted at the second attempt.
However, Romelu Lukaku’s goal made it 2-1 before the break and there were visions of last season’s capitulation, but in the end that would be the last goal.
The result means Milan are top of the Serie A table with the only other ‘perfect’ side in Atalanta being thumped by Napoli earlier in the day. Ibrahimovic was interviewed by Sky Italia at the end of the game, and his comments were transcribed by MilanNews.
“A very important match against Inter. AC Milan hadn’t won the derby for 4 years, I was locked away at home for two weeks. I was so hungry and today I proved it with these two goals. I am disappointed with the penalty, but the important thing is to have won. This adventure continues.”
On the Scudetto: “We are at the beginning, since I arrived the team has been doing great things, especially after the lockdown. The team is growing a lot, the mentality is different, the young people take more responsibility. They all train great.
“I feel a lot of responsibility, I’m the oldest in the team. A situation that I really like, everyone follows me and everyone is hungry to win.”
Are you amazed by yourself? “I am not amazed by myself. I know what my level is. After the injury I went to America to feel alive. At Manchester I told Mourinho that I wasn’t ready and didn’t want to disappoint him, so I went to America. Then Mino told me to go back to Europe, then they told me that I needed to go back to Milan.”
On the quarantine: “I just lost a little taste, I was taking tests every 3 days. I would have played the derby regardless, no one would have stopped me.”
Do you think you are better from the ages of 30-40? “I feel more complete, I have more experience. When you are young you are still growing. Now I feel complete, if I had the condition of 10 years ago nobody would stop me, but even now they don’t stop me.”
On the celebration: “There was one who was shouting from the crowd, this exultation is only for him.”
On why he is so effective at 39: “In my opinion a little bit of everything. Physically I’m fine, I train a lot. I am playing with great experience and I play with team-mates who are willing to do many things.
“They are doing well, they listen, I put intensity on everyone. I don’t accept that they relax, in training and in matches. You have to train at 200%.”
On Leao: “He is very strong, he has an almost better body than mine. He has speed, technique. He just has to focus on football as he is doing. He is playing for Milan, there is not much patience here.”
Again on the Scudetto: “We are thinking one game at a time, every game is like a final. When I arrived the goal was Europe and we got there. The goal for the club is to arrive again in Europe, my personal goals are different but I keep them to myself (laughs).
“Scudetto? In my opinion there is a sure possibility, one who believes can do anything. We believe it, then in the end we will see how it goes. It is still a long road.”
Were you targeting a particular defender? “Yes but I can’t tell you (laughs). The coach prepared the game very well, he decided how we should attack. In the first half we left immediately, in the second half we were more in control.”