Stefano Pioli’s side needed to win to stay ahead of Inter Milan in the title race after they brushed aside Sampdoria 3-0 at the San Siro. And the visitors stuck to their task superbly, beating Sassuolo by the same scoreline away from home to clinch the title by two points.
Former Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud scored twice in the first half before Franck Kessie rounded off the win after the interval to seal the Rossoneri’s first domestic triumph in 11 years after a thrilling title race with city rivals Inter. Celebrations in the Italian city continued long into the night with thousands of Milan supporters pouring onto the streets.
But for Swedish veteran Ibrahimovic, it marked a bittersweet moment as their title win came just weeks after the death of his representative Mino Raiola, the Italian-Dutch super agent who died in April at the age of 54. Raiola has been at the forefront of his high-profile transfers, including his infamous switch from Inter to Barcelona in 2008, and the legendary striker spoke about how he influenced him to sign for Milan despite interest from elsewhere.
“This is for Mino Raiola. It’s the first title I have won without Mino by my side”, before adding: “I was close to [signing for] Napoli, then he told me that I was the only one who could save Milan. So I dedicate it to him."
Remarkably, at the age of 40, Ibrahimovic continues to play at the highest level and his eight goals in the Serie A with just 11 starts to his name have proved helpful in their quest for glory. Naturally, the forever humble star discussed his contribution to helping Milan find their way back to the top of Italian football.
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"It's my greatest satisfaction. When I returned, at the press conference, I said that I would bring Milan back to the top," he said to DAZN after the game. "Many were laughing and now we are here, and we won the Scudetto. We made many sacrifices, but nothing is impossible. I have suffered a lot this year.”
Ibrahimovic, who was seen smoking a cigar on the pitch and pointed to the sky during Milan’s celebrations, has now won an incredible 13 league titles with four different clubs — with five of those shared between his two spells at Milan and a hat-trick of titles at Inter between 2006 and 2009. But it could finally be time for the towering striker to hang up his boots after hinting he could retire, although he insisted he would be in control of his fate.
"I will make a decision over the next few days," he said, as quoted by Goal. "I had a really tough time lately, it was bad both physically, but also for other personal matters. At the end of the day, I did everything I could to help Milan win this trophy. I was afraid that I might have to quit, but I want to do it my way."