Zlatan Ibrahimovic turned into a celebratory beast at AC Milan’s championship party and mocked his former team-mate Hakan Calhanoglu during the title parade. Now the Turkish international is hitting back.
After an eleven-year wait, AC Milan has once again become Italian football champions. At the title party that followed, superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic naturally moved into the limelight.
The Swede arrived splashing bubbly as soon as he entered the stadium to receive the trophy. The 40-year-old then indulged in a deep puff from the cigar he had brought with him and fired up the tifosi – scenes worthy of “King Zlatan”.
One action in particular on the following title parade was therefore almost lost. There, the Swede took the microphone and shouted to his own fans: “Let’s send a message to Hakan! I’m not joking, send him a message.”
Hakan Calhanoglu had moved from AC Milan to, of all places, big city rivals Inter before the start of the season. The comments were met with boos as well as insults from the Rossoneri supporters because of this.
Now Calhanoglu has hit back and sharply criticised his former Milan teammate Ibrahimovic. “The guy is 40 years old and he does this. If I was 40, I wouldn’t do something like that. It’s not like you’re 18, he loves getting attention. He even lives off it,” he told Turkish TV station Tivibuspor.
Calhanoglu: Ibrahimovic has “contributed nothing”
Ibrahimovic’s private show apparently didn’t appeal to Calhanoglu at all: “He hasn’t contributed anything this year, hasn’t played, but wants to impress the fans.”
While Ibrahimovic did indeed plague himself with injury worries throughout the season, he still contributed eight goals as well as three assists in 23 appearances in the Scudetto win.
In the Milan days, the relationship between the two protagonists was not strained. “He used to call me all the time, wanted to take me out for dinner, ride around on his motorbike,” the Turkish international explained, adding, “I heard he mentioned me in his book. He had to do that, otherwise it would be an empty book.”
Inzaghi criticised over derby defeat
As well as Ibrahimovic, Calhanoglu also criticised his current coach Simone Inzaghi, blaming him for the momentous derby defeat in February.
Inter had lost the direct encounter for the championship against Milan with 1:2. It was a decisive result as the Rossoneri ultimately prevailed in the final table by just two points.
“In the derby we were 1-0 up, then he took Perisic, Barella and me out and the game was upside down. The coach also had an influence there,” Calhanoglu looked back.