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PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (left) and PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti during a press conference at Aspire Academy, yesterday. PICTURES BY: QASSIM RAHMATULLAH
BY DENZIL PINTO
DOHA: Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has said the Paris Saint Germain (PSG) players are training harder in order to win matches with the hope of ‘making history which has never been done before’.
Speaking in a press conference at Aspire Academy in Doha, yesterday, Ibrahimovic said: “We train every day to be very competitive. Everything (in football) is about the result. If we win it will be even better That is why we train hard. Here in Qatar, the environment is fantastic. It is the best preparation we can get, so we hope to win and make history which has never been done before.”
The 6 foot 5 inch star, who has scored 18 goals since his move from AC Milan last summer has enjoyed his time so far at PSG and relishes the spotlight the club has.
“I’ve had a good experience in these six months. A lot of things have happened. When I came here, people said to me ‘PSG is not big as other clubs’ or ‘the attention is not the same’. But since the first day it has been busy, very busy. That is the way it is here,” said Ibrahimovic.
“Everything is new here. The French journalists are interested in the project and everyone wants to talk about us. Everyone wants to be involved in this team, whether people are saying a lot of positive or negative things,” he added.
“When people talk about you it’s because you are important, not just me, but the whole club and the other players in the club,” Ibrahimovic pointed out, saying he has ‘aged 10 years’ since arriving at PSG.
When asked what he thought of his impressive goals record for the French giants which stands at 18, he said: “Scoring goals is a bonus. The most important thing is to play good and the goals will come by itself. I have my team-mates to help me in every game for me to try and score. Yes I’ve scored many goals, much more goals than before, and my aim is to help the team by scoring goals.”
“I just want to win games, whether I’m scoring goals or not scoring goals,” said the 31-year-old under the presence of his coach Carlo Ancelotti.
When the French football season resumes, the PSG squad will be joined by new recruit Brazil’s Lucas Moura who was officially unveiled at the Islamic Museum of Art on Tuesday.
The new signing who is regarded as one of the top prospects for the future, will only get better according to Ibrahimovic.
“Lucas Moura’s arrival will bring more quality to the team, and better offensive organisation. The team will improve with his arrival,” he said, who along with his team, will leave Doha this evening.
“I have not been able to see too much of him in our first two training sessions together, but he is a great player,” he said yesterday.
“He will definitely help us in the future. I hope he will adapt quickly and show all his qualities so that we win trophies together,” added the Swede.
The striker, who became the second most expensive player when he completed his €69m transfer from AC Milan to Barcelona in 2009, has said he is happy to help Lucas settle at PSG.
“I have a responsibility for the team I am doing and the club I present. I think it is very important that Lucas adapts to the French language and the city. On the pitch, he has the qualities which are amazing. He has to take it day-by-day,” said the Swedish striker who has made 16 appearances for PSG so far,” he said.
“I remember when I came to Ajax in my first year and it was very difficult. I tried to do everything in one game. I remember the first year was not a good year. I had a lot of pressure on me, but Lucas comes into a team who has many experienced players. For sure I will help on and outside the pitch,” said Ibrahimovic who trained with Lucas for the first time on Tuesday evening.
Ibrahimovic who is training for the first time at Aspire Academy, was impressed by the facilities in Doha.
“Everything I’ve seen of (Aspire) is amazing. I’ve never seen anything like this before. Everything is in one spot. You just see so many football fields. That is how I grew up. This project and this facility is a big opportunity to improve training not just in football, but in other sports,” he said.
The striker has ruled out a move to the English Premier League.
He said: “I don’t think I will play for an English club. I have a contract for another two-and-a-half year. I’m very happy here and I’ve not even thought about it.”