Massimiliano Allegri hailed striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic as AC Milan warmed up for tomorrow’s trip to Arsenal with a hat-trick in a 4-0 win at Palermo on Saturday night.
The striker scored a 14-minute treble on his return from a three-game suspension as the Rossoneri moved three points clear of Juventus at the top of Serie A.
“Ibra is doing great things,” Allegri said. “He’s in a rich vein of form. The three-match ban did him good.’’
Ibrahimovic added: “I’m very happy. After three matches out, the game went very well both for me and for the team. We’re playing at our best at the moment with a lot of confidence.
“We’re playing the way we want to and we’re always dangerous up front.”
Ibrahimovic revealed at the weekend he turned down the chance to move to Arsenal because boss Arsene Wenger wanted the Sweden striker to go through a trial.
The AC Milan player was a teenager when he met up with Wenger in 2000 to discuss a possible move to north London.
Ibrahimovic, 30, said: “Arsene gave me the famous red and white jersey — the number nine shirt with Ibrahimovic on it and I was so pleased I even posed for a picture wearing it.
“It was a fantastic moment for me. Arsenal had a great team then and here was an Arsenal shirt made just for me.
“So then I waited for him to convince me that I should join Arsenal. But he didn’t even try.
“He never actually made me a serious offer, it was more, ‘I want to see how good you are, what kind of player you are. Have a trial’.
“I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘No way, Zlatan doesn’t do auditions’.
“I thought ‘You either know me or you don’t and if you don’t know me you can’t really want me’.”
Ibrahimovic instead chose to join Ajax, where he began a run of eight consecutive league crowns, a streak that took in spells at Juventus, Inter, Barcelona and now Milan.
He also starred as Milan took a 4-0 lead in their Champions League tie against the Gunners last month, and he scored a hat-trick last night against Palermo.
“I definitely made the right choice,” he added.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved