AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has spent the week dismissing suggestions that he would leave the defending Italian champions at the end of the season, insisting that being a part of the club actually reignited his passion for football two years ago.
Despite an impressive scoring tally in the 2009-10 season, Ibrahimovic was mostly frustrated as a member of Barcelona’s La Liga-winning squad and was ultimately loaned to Milan after spending only one year in Spain.
In his early days in Milan, a city where had previously played for Inter, Ibrahimovic revealed that he was not as passionate about playing football as he was during his younger days.
The Swede, who is still only 30 years old, has since rediscovered the ability to enjoy the game at the highest level and having signed permanently with the Rossoneri at the beginning of the current season, he is determined to maintain the status quo.
“As I said six months ago, I am happy here. I have a contract [till 2015] and I don’t have any other thoughts,” Ibrahimovic was quoted by the AC Milan channel.
He added: “I am determined to end this season well with the Milan colors and then with my national team [at Euro 2012]. Milan has given me back a smile and the will to play. Milan is my future.”
Although Ibrahimovic has endured a frustrating recent spell that included Milan’s Champions League elimination at the hands of former club Barca and Serie A rivals Juventus’ continued surge up the Italian standings, he is the league’s leading scorer with 23 goals in 26 appearances.
The title race in Italy has heated up to the point where only one point separates Milan from unbeaten leaders Juve and as the league resumes its schedule of fixtures tomorrow for the first time since the tragic death of 25-year old Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini last weekend, Ibra has put things in their right perspective by emphasizing the need for happiness above all.
“I play well because I am happy here, on and off the pitch. After the holidays I will return to begin pre-season training with this jersey,” he concluded.