Ibrahimovic: ‘COVID had the courage to challenge me. Bad idea’

Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan looks on during the Serie A football match between AC Milan and Bologna FC. AC Milan won 2-0 over Bologna FC.

Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the highest-profile Serie A player to contract COVID-19 since play in Italy resumed in June following a three-month hiatus because of the pandemic.

The 38-year-old AC Milan striker was placed in quarantine at home following the test carried out ahead of the team’s Europa League tie against Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt on Thursday, the Italian club said.

The announcement came a day after his Brazilian team-mate Leo Duarte also returned a positive test.

“All other team members and staff have tested negative,” the club said in a statement on its website.

The veteran forward, who said he had not experienced any symptoms, responded to the diagnosis in his inimitable style.

“COVID had the courage to challenge me. Bad idea,” Ibrahimovic said on Twitter.

The quarantine, which lasts 14 days, will sideline the striker for the Europa League qualifier against visiting Bodo/Glimt and upcoming Serie A games against league newcomers Crotone and Spezias.

Ibrahimovic, who turns 39 next month, has scored 14 goals in 22 matches since returning for a second stint at Milan in January, helping revive his team.

He began the new Serie A season in style on Monday by scoring twice in the 2-0 win over Bologna.

One of Europe’s most charismatic players, Ibrahimovic previously played for Dutch side Ajax, Italian clubs Juventus and Inter Milan, Spain’s Barcelona, US club Los Angeles Galaxy, France’s Paris Saint-Germain, as well as English side Manchester United.
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