Zlatan Ibrahimovic was happy to be back for AC Milan in victory over Atalanta.
He had not been on the pitch since the Scudetto-winning 3-0 victory away to Sassuolo in May 2022, undergoing knee surgery just days later.
“I missed the fans so much, I thank them for giving me strength, adrenaline and the motivation to continue. Without the support of the fans, it is difficult,” Ibra told DAZN.
“I feel good, if we look back, I haven’t felt this good for a year and two months. I feel able to do what I can do. I felt free today to do what I love, which is to play football.
“I said that I’d make San Siro jump, well today it was jumping.”
At 41, the Swede is the oldest player to make a Serie A pitch and also stated: “If I have to tell the whole story, I’ll be here for hours. I suffered a lot, so much. The last six months of last season I wanted in every way to help the team, even when I couldn’t really play. I could’ve had the surgery six months earlier, but I could tell this was the season we could win the Scudetto,” continued the Swede.
“I promised to the coach that I would hold off on the surgery because I wanted to be there for the team and help them. I tell you, I never suffered so much as I did last season for a trophy.
“It was also a year when the tragedy of losing Mino (Raiola), so mentally it was a lot of suffering too, not just physically. Thankfully, I have people around me who help give me the strength to keep going. When I’m in good shape, though, I am stronger than anyone.
“I feel like someone who can help more than I did today. I had two or three training sessions and played 15 minutes, imagine what I can do with training sessions. That is what I am missing, the training. It’s been a year and two months since I really got to work with the ball at my feet, but today it felt like no time had passed at all.”