New AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimović described his return to the San Siro and the UEFA Champions League as a "fantastic debut" after hitting the ground running with two goals in a 2-0 win against AJ Auxerre in Group G.
Ibrahimović, whose signing from FC Barcelona last month caused a stir in a city where he had previously won three Serie A titles in as many seasons with city rivals FC Internazionale Milano, reacclimatised to the San Siro spotlight with a second-half double that was as effective as it looked improbable during a muted first 45 minutes.
After the interval, though, Milan showed greater desire and the wizardry of Ronaldinho enabled the Sweden forward to rattle off his 20th and 21st UEFA Champions League goals in just four minutes. "It was a fantastic debut," Ibrahimović told UEFA.com. "We didn't have a great first half but we were much better after the break.
"Once we scored we had the space to create more; then the second goal arrived and the match was ours. Whenever you score or play well, you can change matches, so the important thing is to play well, score and play your own game.
"The first goal came from a fantastic ball and [Kevin-Prince] Boateng getting into a great position. He told me in the changing rooms afterwards that he saw me and so flicked the ball on; I just had to poke it in. For the second goal, Ronaldinho found me with a superb pass.
When you play with players like this all you have to do is keep your concentration and the goals will come."
One such stellar individual is Clarence Seedorf, the four-time European club champion, who was glowing in his praise of his new team-mate. "In the second half we moved a lot better and that created the space we needed," said the Dutch midfielder. "When the ball wasn't reaching the strikers they came to look for it which opened the opposition up more. We have quality players that can make a difference and I'm pleased they did tonight.
"I'm delighted for Ibra for getting off the mark straight away. He'll only get better because we have only had one training session together so far, so we have still got to get to know each other – who drops deep when, who advances when. In the second half we were already beginning to find more space and it won't be long before we are completely on the right wavelength.
One thing is for sure, though; Ibra will only get better."
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