Zlatan back at the wheel for Milan

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Ten goals in seven games from Ibrahimovic, at a rate of one every 53.4 minutes, has been a vital spur in the first half of the season that has taken the Rossoneri to the Serie A summit.

"Today I feel like a leader. I drive, the team follows me," the 39-year-old striker told Corriere dello Sport.

Fit again after a seven-week injury lay-off, Milan head coach Stefano Pioli will hope Ibrahimovic can resume leading the attacking line with his familiar panache as the season nears its halfway mark.

A scintillating start to the campaign will count for little if Milan tails off over the coming months, which Ibrahimovic acknowledged when he considered the prospect of earning a place in next season's UEFA Champions League.

Inter Milan and Juventus appear to be the biggest threats to Milan's lead, which is currently three points after 17 games. Milan is next in action when it faces Cagliari on Tuesday (AEDT).

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"It is early. How much is still to go? All the second half of the season plus two games," Ibrahimovic said.

"Furthermore, setting goals is like setting limits. I never do it. Second place is the first of the last. I want to get the best out of me and the team, every day, including training."

The former Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain frontman is enjoying a second stint with Milan, after a fruitful first spell from 2010 to 2012, when he featured in that 2010-2011 title-winning team.

"Ten years ago it was another Milan. But also the Milan that I found in 2020 was different. Always a very young team. We have worked, we sacrificed ourselves. Here are the results," Ibrahimovic said.

"We are doing great things, it is true, as it is true that we have not won anything. There is the desire to do more."


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