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Arsenal need trophies to match Barcelona: Ibrahimovic

Sweden and Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has warned Arsenal ahead of their Champion's League clash in London that it is trophies that count in football and not plaudits for playing beautiful football.

Ibrahimovic is a self-confessed admirer of Arsene Wenger’s side and he believes Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final clash between his Spanish

champions and the Gunners should provide plenty of magic moments for the vast

global audience.

Arsenal’s fluent style of play is often compared with the breathtaking stuff produced by Barca’s galaxy of stars.

But the 28-year-old Swede insists Arsenal need to deliver silverware as well as entertainment before they are worthy of comparison with Josep Guardiola’s team.

“When I saw the draw I said immediately the whole world will see two fantastic matches. These two teams are the ones we like to watch,” Ibrahimovic said on Tuesday.

“But at the same time it is more important to win titles. If you don’t, people say these teams don’t win by playing that way and maybe they should change their style.”

“Personally I like Arsenal because they have a lot of good young players and play good football.”

Ibrahimovic has 18 goals in 33 appearances for Barca this season, but the former Inter Milan, Juventus and Ajax star has struggled to make any impact during previous meetings with English clubs.

He cut a subdued figure as Inter crashed out of the Champions League against Liverpool and Manchester United in the last two campaigns.

Yet he is adamant he has nothing to prove to an English audience after winning six league titles in the last six seasons.

“I think I haven’t performed my best in games against English teams,” he said. “But the last time was with Inter against Manchester United and it is harder playing for Italian teams against English teams because Italian teams are more concerned with not conceding.”

“Obviously Barcelona saw what they bought. I had five fantastic years in Italy and played in Holland before that.”

“The people who know football know the way I can play and I don’t think I have to demonstrate that to anybody.”

“I have six league titles in a row so I don’t know how much more I have to prove after that. But I came to Spain to win more important titles and keep improving myself.”

“When people criticise you, you hear it from somebody even if you don’t read it but the biggest criticism is from myself. I have had hard times but I’m playing well now.”

Although Barca play the second leg of this last eight tie on home turf at the Nou Camp, Ibrahimovic says they will go in search of an away goal or two at the Emirates.

“Barcelona’s mentality is always attack, attack. It is very important to score an away goal and if we can win that would be great. At home or away we always try to win,” he said.

“I think Barcelona are the favourites because we are the European champions. Wherever we go we are the favourites. We have a good team who can win whoever we play.”

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IBRAHIMOVIC

Zlatan has been ‘cured’ of coronavirus: AC Milan

AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been given the all-clear to end his quarantine period and return to action after testing negative for coronavirus, the Serie A club announced on Friday.

Zlatan has been 'cured' of coronavirus: AC Milan
Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring a goal in September. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP
Milan confirmed in a statement that the Swedish striker had “tested negative” twice in a row, as stipulated in the protocol to be able to lift the quarantine procedure.
   
Ibrahimovic, 39, sounded a more triumphal note on his social media: “You are cured! The health authority says the quarantine is over, you can go out!”, he wrote on Twitter.

The announcement comes a day after Milan said Ibrahimovic had tested positive a second time for Covid-19, putting in doubt his participation in the Milan derby on October 17.
 
   
Ibrahimovic first tested positive on September 24.
   
The derby remains in doubt with two other Milan players and five from Inter currently in self-quarantine.
   
In spite of his absence, Milan have made a decent start to the season, having climbed to second in Serie A after winning all three of their games and reaching the group stages of the Europa League.
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