Zlatan Ibrahimovic Joins Paris Saint-Germain Dream Team

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paris St, Germain at Parc des Princes

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Joins Paris Saint-Germain Dream Team

The Sweden captain has signed a three-year contract with PSG, worth a reported €14 million ($17 million) net a year, €2 million more than he earned at Milan.

PSG missed out on the league title last season despite spending more than €100 million ($123 million) on players and it has upped the ante this off-season, topping it all with the transfer of Ibra in the biggest spending ever for Paris St. Germain.

“I want to thank PSG and Leonardo,” Ibrahimovic said. “They made something impossible possible – and now I am very happy. It’s a big step in my career, another dream come true.

Ibra has his smile back!

With 28 goals, Ibrahimovic was Serie A’s top scorer last season staring for AC Milan. Known for his strength, aerial ability, and fiery - sometimes volatile, personality, Ibra has been compared to Dutch legend Marco Van Basten for his powerful alpha playing style.

Ibrahimovic seems surprised by the level of excitement his signature has produced in Paris.

“Since arriving last night, I’ve started to realise what my transfer here represents. I must admit, I don’t know an awful lot about Ligue 1, but Ligue 1 certainly seems to know who I am!” he explained. “I’ve been to Paris a couple of times with my wife and it’s a fantastic city. I’m looking forward to living here and spending time here. I’ve only heard good things about this city.”

“I know there’s been a big media interest in this. It’s been more intense than when I moved to Barcelona. I’m very excited in this project. I’m here to make history and I will enjoy all the trophies we bring home.”

“It seems that I will finish my career here but that’s what I said at Milan too,” the 30-year-old Ibrahimovic said. “You never know what will happen. But I’m not thinking about that at the moment, I’m thinking about winning during my time here.”

PSG has paid a reported €20 million total ($25 million) for Ibrahimovic, making its summer spending on new players to an estimated €112 million ($137 million).

The club’s Qatari owners have also signed Ibrahimovic’s former Milan teammate Thiago Silva and Napoli’s Ezequiel Lavezzi this summer, as well as midfielder Marco Verratti from Pescara.

PSG seems to have limitless amounts of cash since a member of the ruling family in oil-rich Qatar bought the Paris club a year ago. Sheik Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani’s Qatar Sports Investments now owns 70 per cent of the club.

Last campaign PSG spent a French record €42 million ($55.4 million) on Argentine playmaker Javier Pastore, as well as signing winger Jeremy Menez from Roma, midfielder Mohamed Sissoko from Juventus, defenders Maxwell from Barcelona and Alex from Chelsea, along with midfielder Thiago Motta from Inter Milan.

“I come to a dream team and the dream team will continue to grow,” Ibrahimovic said. “They will do everything to win and I want to be part of that. I’m going to be playing with the best players in the world. They’ve also bought the best defender in the world, Thiago Silva, and as long as I have him behind me I don’t need to look back.

“Who doesn’t want to be here? This is the future and I believe in this, this is the most important. When you look at the team it’s really a dream team. It’s the future not only of French football but also in Europe and even the world.”

“I’m very happy I was there. Milan gave me my smile back,” Ibrahimovic said. “I will always have very good memories of Milan. I was very happy. I don’t want to put a shadow over my time at Milan, they made it very easy for me to come to PSG.

“I thank them and I wish them all the luck. They are a great club and I’m sure they will continue to win.”

Ibrahimovic joined AC Milan from Barcelona on loan in 2010 and the move was made permanent the following year. The Sweden captain spent three seasons at Inter and two at Juventus, winning the Serie A title every year — although the two he won with Juventus were later revoked because of the match-fixing scandal. Ibrahimovic also won the Dutch league twice with Ajax and the Spanish title with Barcelona before lifting another Serie A trophy with Milan.

“I consider this team as the same level as other teams I have played for,” he said. “But we have to go out and show it on the pitch. If you look on paper we are definitely up there. But we have to show it. We have to win.

“Now that the dream has become reality everyone is talking about Ligue 1. Everyone should be positive about this. But it’s up to us to prove it now. We have to win.”

“I came here because I see the future here. I don’t see the future in Italy,” he said. “What happens in Italy is their problem now. Losing two big stars like me and Thiago Silva is a big thing for the club and the championship.

“For sure the Italian championship without us will be more poor, but I don’t know if it will have less quality. What I know now is that with us the French championship will be better and more watched in the world.”

Ibrahimovic’s arrival has thrilled most French football supporters, with hundreds gathering at PSG’s official store on the Champs-Elysees to welcome the star after the news conference.

French sports minister Valerie Fourneyron is concerned about the spending spree.

“These sums are astronomic, they are unreasonable,” she said. “They reflect everything we deplore in the footballing sector today — that is to say the absence of any regulation, and debts which keep on accumulating.

“It reminds us again how much we need the regulation that (UEFA president) Michel Platini proposes for UEFA clubs so that there will be a ceiling on the payroll in regards to all the budgets.”

FRENCH LIGUE 1 TICKETS

Watch Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva play live this campaign. Top French League 1 ticketsincluding Paris Saint Germain tickets as well as football tickets for Olympique Lyon, Olympique de Marseille, Montpellier HSC tickets, Bordeaux and other french football teams are available now for sale securely online.

Ligue 1 is the top division of French football. On 20 May 2012, Montpellier clinched its first-ever league title after defeating Auxerre 2–1 at the Stade de l’Abbe-Deschamps. Montpellier will appear in the UEFA Champions League for the first time in its history.

French champions Montpellier-HSC begin their first ever title defence in a 2012-13 season that welcomes back SC Bastia, ESTAC, and Stade de Reims back to the top flight.

Champions League tickets are available for Paris St. Germaine and Montpellier HSC.

IMPORTANT FRENCH LIGUE 1 DATES 2012-13

Friday 10 August: Week 1 – Opening match of the season

Tuesday 25 September: Coupe de la Ligue Rd-of-32 (14 Ligue 1 clubs enter competition)

Tuesday 30 October: Coupe de la Ligue Rd-of-16 (European qualified clubs: Montpellier, PSG, LOSC, OL, Bordeaux and OM enter competition)

Saturday 22 December: Week 19 – final round of first half of season

Saturday 5 January: Coupe de France Rd-of-64 (All Ligue 1 clubs enter competition)

Saturday 20 April: Coupe de la Ligue Final

Sunday 26 May: Week 38 – final round of season

Saturday 1 June: Coupe de France Final