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Ibrahimovic compared to Federer by Milan boss Pioli

5 months ago
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Stefano Pioli likened Zlatan Ibrahimovic to 20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer.

Milan head coach Stefano Pioli compared star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to tennis legend Roger Federer.

Ibrahimovic made an instant impact after re-joining Milan in January prior to the Serie A season being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A title winner with Milan, Inter, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Ajax, Ibrahimovic had scored four goals across all competitions in his second coming at San Siro following his arrival from LA Galaxy.

Amid doubts over Ibrahimovic's future at Milan – where he only signed an initial deal until the end of the season – due to the COVID-19 crisis, Pioli likened the 38-year-old to 20-time grand slam champion and fellow veteran Federer.

"I spoke to him, he's doing well," Pioli said during an Instagram Live chat. "I think talent is an innate quality and it's not difficult for me to spot it, but talent can be worked on and improved.

"I set the example of Roger Federer, as he was born with that talent, but worked constantly every day to become probably the greatest tennis player who ever lived.

"We also saw great natural talents wasted, perhaps because they were unwilling to make the sacrifices and work hard. I trained Miroslav Klose, the striker who scored the most goals in the World Cup.

"Even Ibra tells me his only objective every day is to improve his performance and that's what it's all about."

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