It’s the beginning of a new era for Zlatan Ibrahimovic as he bids goodbye to Paris Saint-Germain. The Swedish striker is out of contract in the summer and has decided to leave by mutual consent. He won’t be short of suitors having scored 46 goals this season as PSG stormed to a fourth successive league title.
He took to his twitter account to announce that Saturday’s match against Nantes will be his last for Paris Saint-Germain in France.
Ibrahimovic has won four straight Ligue 1 titles with the French club and seven cup competitions, but he cannot boast of the same success in the European Champions League since PSG failed to make it past the quarterfinals in the last three seasons.
The 34-year-oldÂ joined PSG from AC Milan in 2012. He has spearheaded the club’s rise to the upper echelons of European football, which has been funded by Qatar Sports Investments.
Arguably the finest goal of Ibrahimovic’s career arrived in Sweden’s 4-2 win over England in 2013. From 30 yards out, he performed a spectacular bicycle kick, which looped over goalkeeper Joe Hart and was subsequently named goal of the year.
He prolonged his international career by helping his country secure a place at Euro 2016, at the expense of Denmark. Sweden won a two-legged playoff 4-3 on aggregate.
The Swedish Postal Service honoured the country’s finest footballer with a range of his own stamps, released in 2014.
Apart from being one of football’s biggest stars, Ibrahimovic is also a reputable family man off the pitch; raising two children with his wife, Helena Seger.
His departure has been confirmed on the club’s official website in a statement that also revealed he would return in a managerial capacity once his playing career had ended.
The one and only Zlan shares: “I am very proud of the last four years; I loved every day I spent here. Paris Saint-Germain has become a star club in the world and I played a key role moving it forward.
“It is now the right time for me to take a different path. I would like to thank my teammates, the technical staff and all the people in the club. My heart is with the fans. They were amazing from the first day I came here. They are the best fans in France.
“It is not a farewell but only an au revoir. I came like a king, I leave like a legend but I will be back.”
The President and CEO of Paris Saint-Germain, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, heaped praises on Ibrahimovic: “In just four years Zlatan has greatly contributed to the history and notoriety of Paris Saint-Germain as well as promoting French football worldwide.
“Ibra is truly a great man on and off the pitch. With his incredible talent and charisma, he has conquered the heart of the people of Paris and far beyond. All the trophies he won with the club, the records he broke and his amazing goals will stay forever in our memories.
“I am extremely proud of having welcomed Ibra in Paris and I’m now looking forward to the prospect of working with him again at the club when he finishes his career. He will always be home at Paris Saint-Germain.”