July 29, 2021

‘If you don’t find Zlatan, he’ll kill you’ – AC Milan’s Bennacer

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The Algerian midfielder praised the influence of the former Manchester United striker in his second spell with the Rossoneri

AC Milan midfielder Ismael Bennacer has shared how his teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic strives for perfection, and joked that the Sweden legend could kill someone who doesn’t pass to him.

The veteran Swede scored a brace and provided an assist in Wednesday’s 4-1 victory over Sampdoria at the Luigi Ferraris to take his tally since re-joining the Rossoneri in January to nine goals and five assists in 17 appearances.

He was previously with Milan between 2010 and 2012, scoring 56 goals in 85 appearances, winning the Serie A and Italian Super Cup in 2011.

“He helps you a lot,” Bennacer told Sky Sport Italia. “With him there, you want to do more, you don’t want to lose a ball.

“You must give your best because he is looking for perfection, and if you don’t give it, he’ll kill you.

“He’s like that, but he’s right. It’s right to scream when you make a mistake and not say anything when you do well.

“That’s how you learn and become a player at the highest level.”

Ibrahimovic has also shown he is still agile at 38, having completed the entire 90 minutes on 10 occasions and coming off the bench only twice.

The forward has likened himself to Benjamin Button, a character in a 2008 Hollywood movie who reverses in age and becomes younger over time rather than older.

“People tell me I’m old and tired but I’m just getting warmed up. I’m like Benjamin Button, except I’ve always been young, never old,” Ibrahimovic previously told Milan TV.

Wednesday’s victory also means Milan are guaranteed to finish in sixth place heading into the final against Cagliari on Saturday and will thus participate in the Europa League next season.

Bennacer is hoping the Rossoneri will be able to do better in the coming season and make it into the Champions League

“We are in Europe and it is nice, maybe they are among the protagonists of this year but I have not done anything in particular,” Bennacer said. “We will try to go to the Champions League next year and to get higher in the standings.

“This year I had a lot of fun with this team.”

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations winner has played 30 times in the Serie A for Milan this season, scoring his first goal in a 5-1 win over Bologna.

The Lombardy giants have remained unbeaten since the restart of league fixtures, winning eight games and drawing three.