'Zlatan gets really angry when he loses!' - Calhanoglu on 'ambitious' Milan star & advice Ibrahimovic gave him

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic AC Milan 2020-21
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The Turkish midfielder has opened up on the positive effect the veteran striker has had on the squad since his return to San Siro

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is "very ambitious" and "gets really angry when he loses", according to Hakan Calhanoglu, who has praised the AC Milan star for his "unconditional will to win" while revealing the advice he gave him to improve his own game.

Milan have enjoyed an impressive revival of fortunes since re-signing Ibrahimovic on a free transfer in January.

The former Sweden international, who took in a previous spell at San Siro between 2010 and 2012, scored 10 goals in his first 18 appearances to help the Rossoneri put a poor start to the season behind them and salvage a sixth-place finish in Serie A.

Stefano Pioli's side have picked up from where they left off at the start of the new campaign, having tied Ibrahimovic down to a contract extension which will see him remain at the club for at least one more year.

The 38-year-old hit both goals as Milan beat Bologna 2-0 on Monday night, with a top-four challenge now expected at San Siro after the team's impressive form post-lockdown.

Calhanoglu says Ibrahimovic has brought a winning mentality to the squad, and that his relentless desire for success can sometimes lead to outbursts of frustration if he ends up on the losing side in any competitive matches or training sessions.

"Zlatan has so many ideas that he wants to implement with us on the pitch. All of his experience helps us further and, above all, his unconditional will to win. It starts with training," Calhanoglu told Goal and DAZN .

"Zlatan wants to win every little training game himself, is very ambitious and gets really angry when he loses."

Pressed on his relationship with the veteran striker, Calhanoglu responded: "Zlatan knew me and my qualities even before his return. He always asks me to play freely, not to think too much and always to be 100 per cent focused.

"He also always tells me that my body is my capital. 

"He passes on his experiences to me. On the pitch, I just know how he moves and he knows my routes."

Hakan Calhanoglu AC Milan Atalanta 07242020

The Turkish midfielder added on the progress Milan have made under Pioli since returning to action amid the coronavirus crisis: "Stefano Pioli has brought us a lot further tactically.

"Nothing against his predecessor Marco Giampaolo, but somehow his systems didn't reach us, it works much better with Pioli.

"If Zlatan Ibrahimovic then joins the squad again, with his mentality and his qualities on the pitch, that brings a team forward. 

"For me personally, it was important that I was finally able to play in my favourite position permanently - and my coach made that possible for me."

Former RB Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick was heavily linked with Pioli's position earlier in the year, but Calhanoglu's faith in the current Milan coach never wavered.

"With all due respect to Ralf Rangnick, because I know him from the Bundesliga and many have asked me about him, but that was only briefly an issue in the dressing room," he said.

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"Despite the rumours, Pioli gave 100 per cent every day and we paid him back on the pitch."

Calhanoglu concluded by outlining Milan's goal to bring back the glory days of their most successful eras, with the club finally ready to challenge the elite again after a lengthy transitional period.

"We want to build on the tradition of the time around Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini," he said. "Our goal is clearly to reach the Champions League. We brought in [Sandro] Tonali, Zlatan extended, we want to achieve something. In any case, my hopes are high."

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