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AC Milan's Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic turns 39 on October 3

Football

Bad idea for Covid to challenge me, says defiant Ibrahimovic

MILAN, Italy, Sep 24AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic said Thursday he had no symptoms after testing positive for coronavirus before his team’s Europa League qualifying round match.

“I tested negative to Covid yesterday and positive today,” said Ibrahimovic, who turns 39 in a week’s time, on Twitter.

“No symptoms what so ever. Covid had the courage to challenge me. Bad idea.”

The Swede is now self-isolating and will miss the team’s Europa League third qualifying round tie against Norwegian club Bodo-Glimt in the San Siro later Thursday.

The positive test is a blow for Ibrahimovic who has been in stunning form despite his advancing years.

He scored a double in Milan’s Serie A opener against Bologna on Monday having also netted against Irish side Shamrock Rovers in the Europa League.

“Ibrahimovic has tested positive for Covid-19 following a second round of swab tests ahead of tonight’s game against Bodo/Glimt,” Milan said earlier .

“The club has informed the relevant authorities and the player has been promptly placed in quarantine at home. All other team members and staff have tested negative.”

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The second round of tests were carried out after Milan’s Brazilian defender Leo Duarte returned a positive swab for Covid-19 on Wednesday.

Ibrahimovic will also miss any potential Europa League play-offs and the next two Serie A games against Crotone and Spezia.

The Swede will most likely be available again after the international break for the Milan derby against city rivals Inter on October 17.

Milan recruited the forward in January on a six-month contract after leaving Los Angeles Galaxy, on a deal worth 3.5 million euros ($3.9 million) with the option for an additional season.

The former Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona player had a big impact, scoring 11 goals in 20 games.

Last month he reached an agreement on a new deal for another season reportedly worth 7 million euros ($8.3m).

“I think that we can all see that Ibra has played an important part in our season and our growth,” AC Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis said of last season.

The seven-time European champions moved up from 11th on his arrival to sixth, finishing the league season on a 12-game unbeaten run.

Ibrahimovic is in his second spell at Milan after also helping them to the most recent of their 18 Serie A titles in 2011.

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He also won three league titles with Inter and two with Juventus which were both revoked because of the ‘Calciopoli’ match-fixing scandal.

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