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Ibrahimovic: How I managed to transform AC Milan mentality...

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has spoken of how he has changed the mentality at AC Milan.

The Rossonero now sit top of the table, with Ibrahimovic a massive influence on the club's revival since his January arrival from LA Galaxy.

The Swede joined Milan as a free agent after coming off contract with the Galaxy at the end of the last season MLS season. Since then, Ibrahimovic's impact has been seismic for the Rossonero, with the veteran helping the team qualify for the Europa League last term before driving the team this season to the top of the table. Ibrahimovic has scored 11 goals in 10 games so far this campaign, also including two assists.

The 39 year-old is contracted to Milan to the end of this season.

He told UEFA's website via TMW: "The first question they asked me when I returned to Milan was related to all the former players who had returned here and had not returned according to expectations, unable to repeat what they did in their first experience.

"What was the difference in my case? I simply replied that I have never lost the passion for what I do. Every time I go out on the pitch, I feel like a child eating a candy for the first time. I understand that the ball is my best friend and I want to be with my best friend for the rest of my life.

"Life is all about challenges. I felt I had done enough and started thinking about whether to continue or not. It was a big challenge for me to come back here to try to change the mentality, to try to change the situation and to convey to the team what Milan was. The Milan that I know, the Milan that the whole world knows.

"When I play I bring my character, my personality and obviously my quality onto the pitch. I put a lot of pressure on my teammates, I try to get the most out of each of them. Some take it well, others a little less, others can't stand it. They get into trouble because they perform at a high level only when necessary, instead I decide that we have to do it every day. For me the way you train is the way you play."

Ibrahimovic is currently nursing a hamstring strain suffered in victory over Napoli. There is a confidence he will be back in action before Italy's winter break.


- updated December 2

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