After an absence of seven-and-a-half years and at the age of 38, Zlatan Ibrahimovic will renew his acquaintance with the Milan derby on Sunday where he could help deliver a blow to rivals Inter Milan’s Serie A title challenge.
Juve, chasing a ninth successive title, are three points clear of Inter and visit Verona on Saturday while third-placed Lazio are away to Parma on Sunday.
Ibrahimovic, one of more than three dozen players to have played on both sides in the Derby della Madonnina, missed Milan’s 1-1 draw with Verona on Sunday because had a flu but the club’s chief football officer Zvonimir Boban has guaranteed that he will be fit for Sunday.
Ibrahimovic knows all about the pressures of the fixture, having played in it six times for Inter Milan between 2006 and 2009, where he was on the winning side four times and scored twice.
After an unhappy season at Barcelona, he joined Milan.
His first derby on the other side of the fence was arguably his most memorable as he scored the only goal and claimed revenge on Inter defender Marco Materazzi for an incident four years earlier.
“Everyone was against me and this motivated me. I won a penalty, and who fouled me? Materazzi. 1-0 Milan,” he said in an interview with the Italian edition of GQ magazine in December.
“In the second half, I hit (Materazzi) with a Taekwondo move, I sent him to the hospital,” added Ibrahimovic, who was still simmering over a tackle by Materazzi on him in 2006 when he played for Juventus.
“What goes around comes around.”
Despite Ibrahimovic’s comment, Materazzi did not suffer serious injury and played for Inter two weeks later.
Overall, Ibrahimovic played five times in the fixture for Milan and his final appearance, in May 2012, was bittersweet.
He scored twice but Milan lost 4-2, ending their hopes of winning the title that season. They have not won a major trophy since.
Inter have won the last three matches between the sides and have not lost to Milan in Serie A for over four years, although they were beaten in the Coppa Italia in the 2017-18 season.
Milan suffered a dire season before Ibrahimovic agreed to return for a second stint and were thumped 5-0 by Atlanta in the last game before his arrival.
They have won five and drawn two of their seven games since.
“Zlatan has a special personality. He has a special professionalism. He entered the locker room with a special humility,” said Boban.
“Knowing the force of the impact he can have, it wasn’t so easy. But he understood the atmosphere inside the changing room, the delicacy of the moment.”
Ronaldo snubs C. Ronaldo names Messi as number one
Brazil football legend, Delima Ronaldo in a recent statement has snubbed Portugal international, Cristiano Ronaldo as he lists the top five football players he loves watching.
Ronaldo named Argentine star Lionel Messi as his number one while adding that he loves to watch the likes of Mohamed Sallah, Kylian Mbappe, Eden Hazard and Neymar.
“Messi, of course, he is number one, it is a talent that we will take 20 or 30 years to see something similar.
“I also like Salah, Hazard, Neymar, that I love watching him play, of course Mbappe,” Ronaldo Delima explained according to AS.
The debate between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will continue to go on even after they retire from football.
The two players have won many titles in their careers, however, the World Cup is the only trophy any of them is yet to win.
Tyson may die in the ring against Fury- Dillian Whyte warns WBC president
WBC President, Mauricio Sulaiman has warned British professional boxer, Dillian Whyte that former heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson, may die in the ring.
Sulaiman had publicly backed Tyson’s proposed comeback and even said he would support the 53-year-old making a run for British fighter, Tyson Fury’s heavyweight title belt.
Tyson has been posting training videos recently, with reports suggesting the American could return to the ring in a series of exhibition fights in Australia.
READ ALSO: Ighalo to remain in Man Utd till 2021
But according to Whyte, it is silly for Sulaiman to be encouraging Tyson to challenge the reigning heavyweight champion, Fury.
“It’s silly. If they cannot sanction a fight with me for three years, why the hell are they going to sanction a fight with a 53-year-old man and a 31-year-old man?
“It makes no sense. That is silly. Mauricio and I are cool, but it is a very silly thing to say.
“He should not be encouraging it.
“What if he comes back and dies in the ring? What is going to happen then?
“We have already got enough darkness and enough mud thrown on the sport as it is, we do not need anymore,” Whyte told talkSPORT.
Ighalo to remain in Man Utd till 2021
Nigerian international, Odion Ighalo has secured a move to stay at Manchester United till next year.
Odion Ighalo has “agreed” a loan extension with Manchester United until end of January 2021 with the transfer awaiting FA approval.
The agreement with his parent club Shanghai Shenhua officially expired on Sunday night, and it appeared as though United had failed in a bid to keep the striker at the club.
But according to The Telegraph, both sides have now come to an agreement for the 30-year-old to stay in Manchester until the new year.
The deal is said to be awaiting confirmation with FA for registration.
It is claimed Ighalo will then discuss a new contract with Shanghai Shenhua once he returns in 2021.
The news comes after his agent Atta Aneke confirmed talks were in place for the ex-Watford man to remain at Old Trafford.
Aneke told Nettavisen:
“We are nearing an agreement with Manchester United on an extended loan.
“The agreement will mean that Ighalo will remain with them until January 2021.”
Ighalo swapped the Chinese Super League for the Premier League in a shock deadline day loan deal back in January.
And it is understood Ighalo took a 40 per cent pay-cut on his £300,000-a-week wages in China to make his dream switch happen.
He scored four goals in eight games before the season was suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic – leaving his loan contract to the run-up.
The Nigerian made a personal plea to Shanghai Shenhua to let him finish the season at Old Trafford, before returning to China, and it appears his wishes have been met.
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