After coming back to AC Milan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic revealed details of the way he helped Stefano Pioli make upgrades as a manager.
Stefano Pioli was a relatively average manager before Zlatan Ibrahimovic came to play under him. In football, there are managers who improve in dramatic fashion after getting to coach a world-class player who can challenge them. Ibrahimovic is that type of player in Pioli’s case, the star revealed the areas he improved since they are together. Zlatan’s veteran status and his experience is the reason Pioli got to find the ideal place to keep growing.
As AC Milan’s manager, the club’s prestige also helped but Ibrahimovic is the man who single-handedly revived the whole institution. Today, the Rossoneri are fighting for the title and Pioli is widely regarded as one of the best managers in Italian football. You know how Zlatan speaks sometimes, he has that confidence few players in the world possess.
“I Zlatanized Pioli.”
“Perhaps I Zlatanised Pioli and made him become more like me,” smiled Ibra in an interview picked up by Football Italia. “He arrived at a Milan side where the atmosphere was difficult. If we are where we are now, it is thanks to the work he’s done, as he is a great coach. Pioli has the right mentality and expects a lot of the team, even if it’s quite a young squad. Perhaps he has more patience than me, but then he is older and more mature than me too.
“Pioli is accustomed to situations where he had to fight to stay in Serie A, and obviously that is different compared to fighting to be at the top. It’s different pressure, but still very stressful. Pioli was not accustomed to working with top players, but he has experience and proved himself to be a great coach. Now there is no doubt that he is suited to this level.”