Milan lacks personality without Ibrahimovic - Capello

AC Milan gaffer Fabio Capello thinks a lack of character in the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic is to blame for his team's struggles in Serie A.

Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was ruled out of the Serie A meeting with Hellas Verona on Sunday due to illness and Milan was held to a 1-1 draw at San Siro.   -  Getty Images

Milan lacks the personality required to play for the club when Zlatan Ibrahimovic is absent, according to manager Fabio Capello.

Ibrahimovic was ruled out of the Serie A meeting with Hellas Verona on Sunday due to illness and Milan was held to a 1-1 draw at San Siro.

Verona played the last 22 minutes with 10 men after Sofyan Amrabat was shown a red card following a VAR review of his lunge on Samu Castillejo, but the Rossoneri were unable to score a winner.

ALSO READ| Milan Derby: Handanovic doubtful after sustaining finger fracture

Capello - who won the Scudetto with the club as a player in 1979 and in the 1990s coached it to four league titles and Champions League success - feels Ibrahimovic is the only player with sufficient character for the club.

"He is an important player, the point of reference for the whole team. When he's there, two defenders are focused on him," he told Radio Anch'Io Sport.

"I saw a timid Milan again at San Siro. When Ibrahimovic is there instead, he does different things.

"But it's not [coach Stefano] Pioli's fault. The players go out with fear and this means they don't have the personality to play for Milan."

ALSO READ| Daniel Maldini continues family's dynasty at Milan, coach Pioli optimistic

Juventus has a three-point lead over Inter at the summit as it seeks to win Serie A for the ninth straight season.

Lazio is two points behind Inter, but Capello believes it lack the depth required to compete with Juve and Inter in the long term.

"Inter have added many players to the squad who do not make a difference like the two strikers, but who can help Conte keep things fresh until the end of the season," he said.

"Lazio don't have that. They are two teams that want to try to win and this is a very important thing. Juventus must be very careful."

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos