Serie A: Zlatan Ibrahimovic needs to conserve energy, says AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli in response to Swede's angry reaction
Ibrahimovic was clearly annoyed at being taken off in the 62nd minute of Saturday’s match at San Siro, the third time in four games he has been replaced around the hour mark
AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli has brushed off Zlatan Ibrahimovic's angry reaction to being substituted in the 5-1 win over Bologna, saying only that the 38-year-old needs to avoid over-exerting himself amid a crowded fixture list.
The Swede was clearly annoyed at being taken off in the 62nd minute of Saturday’s match at San Siro, the third time in four games he has been replaced around the hour mark, and ignored a fist bump from Pioli as he left the field.
“It’s natural that he doesn’t like being substituted,” said Pioli. “He (Ibrahimovic) said something to me which I honestly didn’t understand.”
“He was important for the team but I have to make sure he conserves energy - we are playing every three days and he is coming back from injury.”
The 34-year-old World Cup winner underwent a medical on Friday before signing with the Serie A runners-up who return to the Champions League next season after a seven-year absence.
The news follows a two-year transfer ban imposed on the club Friday by FIFA for bringing underage Nigerian players to Italy in breach of national immigration laws
The 22-year-old, who saved two penalties in the Euro final and was named player of the tournament, heads to France on a free transfer from AC Milan.