Tottenham could face old rival Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Champions League as 41-year-old returns to AC Milan training


AC MILAN striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has returned to training more than one month before their Champions League last-16 first-leg against Tottenham.

The 41-year-old has been sidelined since undergoing knee surgery last summer.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has not scored in three games against Tottenham


Zlatan Ibrahimovic has not scored in three games against TottenhamCredit: AFP

But after some time in America – which involved training and check-ups as well as a holiday – he has now returned to Milan where he will continue his rehabilitation.

According to Tuttosport, Ibrahimovic was present at the San Siro on Sunday to watch his side draw 2-2 with Roma.

And now he is focused on being available for the Spurs tie in the Champions League.

The seven-time European champions will host Antonio Conte’s men on February 14, before travelling to London for the return leg on March 8.

AC Milan have not reached the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier competition since 2011/12 when they beat Arsenal 4-3 in the last-16, before losing to Barcelona in the last-eight.

Ibrahimovic has faced Tottenham on three occasions in his career, but never scored.

He played every minute of the Champions League last-16 tie between AC Milan and Spurs in 2011 – which Tottenham won 1-0 thanks to a Peter Crouch goal at the San Siro.

The Swede then faced the Lilywhites once while at Manchester United and helped beat them 1-0 thanks to a Henrikh Mkhitaryan goal.

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Ibrahimovic has not given any indication he is considering retirement despite turning 41 in October.

He contributed valiantly to AC Milan’s Serie A title triumph last season, scoring eight goals in 23 appearances.

But Stefano Pioli’s men face an uphill battle if they are to retain the scudetto this time around.

Napoli have a seven-point lead at the top of the table, although they did lose their first league match of the campaign away at Inter Milan on January 4.


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