We all know it. The ability to shock and awe with both ability and dirty fouls have always gone hand in hand with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It’s hard to be a genius. A burden to carry for some, and sometimes, the burden is too great. During AC Milan’s celebrations Zlatan couldn’t control himself while watching another bi-polar kind of footballer, Antonio Cassano, interviewing. Zlatan, showing his martial arts abilities (black belt in taekwondo) by kicking Cassano in the head, out of nowhere.
Beyond his bizzare actions that could land normal people in jail, Zlatan spoke of his desire to win the treble next year with Milan. This was Ibrahimovic’s 8th consecutive league title (if we forget the fact of Juventus being stripped of two league titles). He’s done it in the Netherlands, Spain and Italy (3 different clubs). He has yet to find success in the Champions League.
The disappearing acts in big games and the total reliance on him most of the time makes it easy for teams to handle the giant Swede during crunch time. Milan, and maybe Italian soccer as a whole, are on the rise again. Still, they are miles away (hopefully not years) from competing with the best of ‘em – Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United. Just the way Tottenham handled the Rossoneri in the knockout stage is a fine example of how far Berlusconi has to go in order to take his side to the top.
In a way, Milan’s future success in the Champions League is connected with the chances of the Serie A to become a better league, a dominant league like in years before. The level of competition is mediocre. Again to Tottenham – A team that might not make any European competition next year had no problem with AC Milan, the best team in Italy this season. Roma’s exit against Shakhtar, Inter’s shocking exit at the hands of Schalke, Juventus unable to find the right route to success. Napoli, Lazio, both showed potential this year. Palermo also have a chance of competing. But without more money, it seems those teams will always fall short when it comes to the deciding stages.
I believe in Ibrahimovic. I’m always on the side that thinks he can beat those demons that get to him and cause him to self destruct. He’s just that good, that talented. He has a great fit in Milan. I just hope that he gets the right pieces around him so Milan can return to its European prominence of not too long ago.