Ibrahimovic hails signing of ‘magician’ Robinho

Zlatan Ibrahimovic hailed AC Milan’s last-minute signing of

Robinho from Manchester City, saying the Brazil winger would add a

touch of magic to the Italian team.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday in Stockholm, the Swedish

striker also blamed coach Pep Guardiola for his own early exit from

Barcelona.

”I think the signing of Robinho is a fantastic signing because

he’s one of the great players in the world,” Ibrahimovic said. ”I

think he’s a fantastic player, he can give a lot to the team. He’s

like a magician.”

Robinho reportedly cost Milan 15 million euros ($19 million),

and his arrival on Tuesday came just four days after Ibrahimovic’s

acrimonious departure from Barcelona.

The striker, who left the Spanish champions after only one

season, criticized Guardiola, who he said had yet to give him a

reason for freezing him out of the team.

”My first six months (at Barcelona) was fantastic. I played my

game, everybody was happy and then somewhere in March, something

happened. I don’t know what,” Ibrahimovic said. ”I’m still

looking for the answer but he (Guardiola) doesn’t want to give it

to me.”

Ibrahimovic said he places the blame for his exit squarely on

Guardiola, who has publicly criticized the Swede.

”You shouldn’t blame the club and the other players I had in

Barcelona for what one person did, because the problem was one

person – not the club and not the players,” Ibrahimovic said.

”The bad picture shouldn’t be on the club and the players – the

bad picture should be on the philosopher.”

Ibrahimovic made his return to the national team in the recent

friendly win against Scotland after 10 months of self-imposed exile

after Sweden failed to qualify for the World Cup.

”We are more than glad that he’s back and not only that, we’re

glad that he’s back and he looks really motivated and that’s the

key thing for us,” said Marcus Allback, Sweden’s assistant

manager.

Allback refused to be drawn on Ibrahimovic’s fallout with

Guardiola, but said that the striker’s attitude both in and out of

training had been exemplary.

”We have a lot of young players in the squad, and for them to

see this big star acting like he does, it’s of big importance for

us,” Allback said.

Sweden gets its qualifying campaign under way against Hungary on

Friday and San Marino on Tuesday.

Striker Ola Toivonen said that the return of Sweden’s most

famous player had given the team a boost.

”We get confidence with Zlatan. I think the opponent also

concentrates more on Zlatan than the other players,” Toivonen

said.

Toivonen, who was linked with a move from his club PSV Eindhoven

to Liverpool before the transfer window closed, said he was

flattered by the English team’s interest.

”But PSV did the job for me, saying no they don’t want to sell

me,” said Toivonen, before adding that ”of course” he would be

interested if the opportunity to move to Liverpool was to present

itself.

”Liverpool is a big club, especially in Scandinavia where

there’s a lot of fans,” Toivonen said.