AC Milan had lifted the Serie A title in the 2021/22 season, ending an 11-year wait for the domestic league trophy. The side, coached by Stefano Pioli, ended with 86 points on the table as they finished two above bitter rivals Inter, who had lifted the title last year. Milan had also reached the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia this season, but endured a poor outing in the Champions League where they finished at the bottom of their group.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been one of the central figures in the Milan dressing room since his return to the club in 2020. The Swedish striker, widely regarded as one of the best forwards of this generation, made 23 appearances for the Serie A champions in 2021/22 as he fought multiple injuries throughout the season.
In fact, after the title victory, Ibrahimovic had revealed on his official Instagram profile that he played “without an ACL in my left knee” for six months, and was only able to train 10 times with the team during the entire duration. With a knee surgery, Ibrahimovic is expected to remain out of action for at least another six-seven months.
The striker scored 8 Serie A goals throughout the season for Milan and during the bus parade, Ibrahimovic took a dig at the side’s former midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, who infamously made a switch to Inter last year. Ibrahimovic took over the mic and said, “Hey, send a message to Hakan,” prompting boos and abuses from the Milan fans for the midfielder.
Calhanoglu has now reacted to the incident, as he took shots at Ibrahimovic for trying to be the “centre of attention.”
“He is a 40-year-old man, not 18, so I wouldn’t do that sort of thing at his age. He just likes being the centre of attention. He didn’t contribute to the Scudetto this season, he barely played, but will do everything to be the focus anyway,” Calhanoglu told Tivibu Spor, per football-italia
“Besides, he is the one who always calls me up, asks me to go out to dinner or for a motorbike ride. He wrote about me in his book too. He had to write something, or it would’ve been blank pages. It’s best not to bother, honestly.”
The Turkish midfielder further stated that Inter are “stronger” than Milan.
“Inter are a much stronger squad than Milan.”
“We lost a derby that changed suddenly at the 75th minute after Ivan Perisic and I were substituted. We were leading 1-0 and then lost 2-1, so the coach contributed to the defeat and I told him as much.”
He added: “In the Coppa Italia semi-final, we beat Milan 3-0.”