Chelsea won’t stop PSG’s glory hunt, says Zlatan Ibrahimovic

It is rare for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to lack in confidence.

Chelsea won’t stop PSG’s glory hunt, says Zlatan Ibrahimovic

In fact, the Swede is very much the opposite and is considered by many as perhaps the most arrogant sportsman of his generation.

And that self-belief comes across when he discusses Paris Saint-Germain’s dream of one day lifting the Champions League.

Since the French champions’ current Qatari owners took over in 2011, Europe’s biggest prize has been at the top of their list of priorities but it has so far eluded them.

In Ibrahimovic’s eyes, it is a similar scenario to that of their opponent’s tonight, Chelsea, when Roman Abramovich invested his millions over a decade ago.

“The team, the club I’m playing in now, is a project that began three and a half years ago,” says Ibrahimovic.

“With all the respect to what happened before that, I think the club was born that day when the Qataris took over this club.

“It was a totally new project. If you look at the project of Chelsea they had the same case but 10 years ago. And when did they win the Champions League? It took many years.

“What we have done in three and a half years I believe is amazing stuff. They built up a team — not from zero — but they bought a lot of players and put them together in three and a half years and made such a good team in such a short time.

“With time they can achieve anything here. There are no limits. Trust me, they will hunt this Champions League until they get it. And they will not stop, with me or without me.”

Standing in PSG’s way this year is a Chelsea team who are enjoying something of a renaissance under Guus Hiddink.

The Dutchman has brought back a sense of belief to a squad that was flirting with relegation earlier this season. The fact they only lost 2-1 to PSG in the first-leg of this last-16 tie is a testament to the work the interim manager has done.

For Ibrahimovic, the trip to Stamford Bridge means a return to a ground where he was sent off last season after just 31 minutes for a foul on Oscar.

PSG would go on to win the tie but the dismissal left a bitter taste in the striker’s mouth as he claimed Chelsea players surrounded the referee and pressurised him into branding a red card. In Ibrahimovic’s own words, they behaved liked ‘babies.’

So have they finally grown up?

“Let’s see,” he said. “The last game we played there were no indications of that.

“Tomorrow is a new game. In that situation, from the last game here, I’d never seen anything like that before from mature players like that. I didn’t expect it.

“But it’s a new game now. Let’s play it differently. Hopefully I will stay longer this time on the pitch, and there are no mistakes from a person who is not involved in the game.”

And presuming Ibrahimovic does stay on the pitch for the whole game tonight, how does he plan to beat Chelsea?

“What’s the key? We’ll see. I’d prefer to keep it as a secret.”

PSG probable:

(4-2-3-1) Trapp; Van der Wiel, Silva, Luiz, Maxwell; Rabiot, Motta; Di Maria, Moura, Cavani; Ibrahimovic.

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