On 22nd May 2022, AC Milan won the Scudetto after 11 years. Many players and staff are credited for this successful campaign. However, it is one man who has got most of the plaudits, the legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic himself.
Everyone knew Milan’s young squad was talented, but Zlatan brought in the mentality that pushed them to the title. From day 1 after re-signing for the club, he promised they would win the championship, and they did.
However, through this intense campaign, Zlatan was facing his own battles. In a lengthy Instagram post, the Swede described how he had lived the last six months without an ACL.
He goes on to talk about how painful the journey has been. To sleep he would have to take painkillers. Even 20 injections in 6 months and monthly visits to the doctor did not ease the pain. It was the toughest period of his life, with the striker only training with his colleagues 10 times during this period.
The ACL is a ligament that can hamper one’s career, if damaged. Players go out for 9 months or more if they injure this ligament. That Zlatan played without one even if for minimal minutes, shows his mental and physical fortitude.
After the title win and celebrations, the player went through a knee reconstruction operation. While he will be out of action for the rest of the year, this surgery could prolong his career.
Having already fulfilled his promise of the scudetto, depending on renewal talks, the Swede could perhaps lead Milan to their 9th Champions League title.
It will be a tough task, but stranger things have happened in football. If this moment does take place, it could be the fairytale ending to a legendary career.
One thing’s for sure, no ACL or a lack of it can stop Zlatan, only Zlatan can stop Zlatan.