Zlatan Ibrahimovic officially returned to competition with AC Milan on Monday, coming into play shortly after the break in his team’s game against Sampdoria Genoa.
The 38-year-old Swede has not played since his last game in late October with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
On Monday, he entered the game in the 55th minute, when the score was 0-0, and was greeted by a huge ovation from the audience of San Siro.
Even before his entry, each gesture of the Swede was scrutinized by the 58,000 spectators present in Milan, who had already applauded him at length for the presentation of the teams and when he got up to start his warm-up in the 40th minute.
“A new challenge to live together, welcome back Ibra”, had written the supporters on a banner deployed before the start of the meeting.
The last “Zlatan” match with club rossonero was 2794 days ago. The Swede wore the Milanese jersey between 2010 and 2012.
His transfer to Milan was formalized in the middle of last week and he therefore has behind him only a handful of training sessions with his new team. At the start of the match, his coach Stefano Pioli had logically chosen to leave him on the bench and start the Pole Krzysztof Piatek.
Before this match of the 18th day against Sampdoria, AC Milan was only 12th in the Italian Championship, 14 points from 4th place, the last qualifier for the Champions League.