After a recent outburst at the referees in the French Ligue 1, British media started speculating that Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be on his way out from Paris Saint-Germain after the season. British newspapers have linked him to Liverpool, but there’s no doubt that several other teams would be interested in his services.
Ibrahimovic is a greater than life character, and he speaks his mind. Just read his book “I am Zlatan” and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Sure, sometimes he puts himself in situations that he could have easily avoided if he took a second to think about what he says. After PSG’s 2-3 loss against Bordeaux on Sunday, Ibra was furious about the refereeing in the game and after the game he went off on the fourth referee as you can see in the video below:
The sound in the video isn’t of the best quality, but Zlatan was relentless in his criticism.
“F-ing wake up — we’re not playing in the amateurs. Wake up! I have never seen that in 15 years in my career, such a referee in this shit country. [You] don’t even deserve PSG to be in this country.” (Quote link http://www.espnfc.com/paris-saint-germain/story/2350232/zlatan-ibrahimovic-apologises-for-angry-post-match-rantcould-face-suspension).
You can understand Ibrahimovic’s frustration as the level of the referees were unworthy of a top game in Europe. Zlatan later apologized and the whole matter has cooled down a bit. Here’s the apology that Zlatan posted on his Instagram.
“Regarding my comments after tonights game; they were not against France or the French people.
I spoke about football. I lost the game, I accept that, but I can’t accept when the referee doesn’t follow the rules. It’s not the first time, and I’m sick of it. My sincere apologies if anyone was offended, or took it the wrong way.” (Quote link https://instagram.com/p/0Q2OZUR0yc/?taken-by=iamzlatanibrahimovic).
But the incident sparked rumors that Ibra might be on his way out of France and might switch clubs in the summer. I believe that if PSG manages to win the Champions League trophy (PSG are moving on after knocking out Chelsea last week), then Ibrahimovic will leave. It’s the one trophy that he wants more than anything else in the world, and if he would win it with PSG that would be his edit performance.
Ibrahimovic has never been at a club for longer than three seasons (Ajax 2001-2004 and Inter 2006-2009). He’s on his third year in Paris, so this plays a part in the rumors that he might be on the move. If PSG fall short of winning the Champions League, then it can go one of two ways. Either he stays and demands that the team buy some better supporting players, or he makes a move to a club that he thinks will have a chance of winning it next season. I don’t believe that Liverpool would be a possible destination because they are nowhere near challenging for a Champions League trophy.
The more logical destination in the English Premier League would be Chelsea, where he would rejoin head coach Jose Mourinho who he played under at Inter. They seem to have a very good relationship, and even though Chelsea got knocked out by PSG, they are not far from being one of the elite sides in Europe. Manchester Untied would be an exciting team to see him in, but he stated in his book that he wasn’t a fan of how coach Louis van Gaal ran the team as director when he was at Ajax, so that seems very unlikely. Manchester City already have too many forwards so I don’t see him going there either.
If PSG wins the Champions League, we actually could start dreaming about seeing Ibrahimovic in the United States and playing in the MLS. He spoke to Sports Illustrated during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil about his views about the MLS and the potential of going there.
“I will really think about it because I find it very interesting to come over to America, because my friend Thierry Henry is playing there and he’s doing fantastic there,” Ibrahimovic said. “And he talks a lot of positive about the Major League Soccer, so it’s an interesting thing if the opportunity is still there in two to three years.” (Quote link http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2014/06/10/zlatan-ibrahimovic-eyeing-mls-psg-star-tells-sports-illustrated-i-find-ameri)
So if he could just get that “damn” Champions League trophy as he has called it in interviews with Swedish media, then he might look favorable to a move across the Atlantic Ocean. He would become a huge draw and rival Orlando City Sc’s Kaka as the league’s biggest star, and despite being 33-years old, he’s in great shape and has many years left in him. You could easily see him be interested in playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy and live in sunny California.
Although I think it’s a long shot that he would leave PSG in the summer no matter what happens, American soccer fans should route for PSG in the Champions League and then hope that he would come over to the MLS if they win.