Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss AC Milan’s Champions League clash against Liverpool, after Jurgen Klopp had praised the striker as “one of the best ever”.
Ibrahimovic, 39, returned from four months out by becoming Serie A's oldest foreign scorer in AC Milan's win over Lazio at the weekend.
However, he will not play against Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday because of an Achilles issue. The former Manchester United forward had been out since May because of a knee injury.
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"Zlatan, what a player," said Liverpool boss Klopp ahead of the Group B fixture. "I think I saw a few videos of him when he got injured, and then I saw him fighting back on the spinning bike. He came on in the last game and scored immediately.
"He is the man for exceptional moments in the game...Zlatan is one of the best to have ever played the game and he knows that. That is the confidence he brings to the game. Some careers maybe ended too early because there was still some fuel in the tank but he squeezes every drop out of his body."
AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli said about Ibrahimovic's absence: "First and foremost, Zlatan would have started the game, but it is simply a swelling to his Achilles tendon. He was looking fit after four months out but maybe the pitch at the San Siro caused him an issue. There is no point in taking a risk with him at this stage of the season. I am disappointed for Zlatan because he always wants to be involved but I'm sure we will see him again soon."
Group B looks to be the toughest group in this season’s Champions League with La Liga champions Atletico Madrid also in it along with Portuguese side Porto.
“When we all saw the draw, I don’t think any of us thought it was a great group," said Klopp. "It is a tough group. Atletico Madrid, wow. Porto, usually the champions in Portugal so a top team, and then AC Milan is one of the biggest teams in Europe, so it is proper Champions League.
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"It is all about getting enough points to get through that group and we better not waste time, starting tomorrow.
"It was a long time ago when we had a Champions League game at home. We have spoken a lot about European nights at Anfield and I cannot wait to experience it again."
Liverpool lost in the quarter-finals of last season’s Champions League to Real Madrid.
Asked about the threat posed by Milan, who Liverpool faced in the 2005 and 2007 finals, Klopp said: "If you think of any kind of European battles, Liverpool against AC Milan is a must watch.
"Milan have not been in the Champions League for a few years. They had a brilliant season and have started this one really good as well. It will be a very tough game for both sides. There are few nice games in this stage of the competition and this is one of them."
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