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Ibrahimovic to leave PSG at the end of the season

By AP - May 14,2016 - Last updated at May 14,2016

PARIS — The French league will be missing its most charismatic player next season after Zlatan Ibrahimovic announced on Friday that he will leave Paris Saint-Germain.

The Sweden international, whose contract expires in June, said that he will be playing his final match at PSG’s home ground on Saturday against Nantes.

“My last game tomorrow at the Parc des Princes. I came like a king, left like a legend,” Ibrahimovic said in his trademark arrogant style.

Saturday’s match will not be the last in a PSG jersey for Ibrahimovic, who is also expected to play in the French Cup final against Marseille at the Stade de France on May 21.

Ibrahimovic reportedly pushed for a one-year extension but PSG said the club and the player decided mutually not to renew their contract.

“They agreed as well that once the player ends his active football career he would be back in the club in a managerial capacity,” PSG said in a statement.

At 34, Ibrahimovic played one of the best seasons of his career. Although he failed again in his task of delivering the Champions League to the Qatari-owned club, he was named last week the French league’s best player for the third time in four seasons.

“Ibra will have widely contributed to transform Paris Saint-Germain in one of the biggest clubs in Europe,” PSG said.

Playing tremendous football for most of the season, the imposing striker became PSG’s all-time leading goal scorer as the Parisian club won a fourth consecutive French league title. Earlier this week, he moved to within one goal of Carlos Bianchi’s record for a French league season after scoring his 36th in a 1-1 draw at Bordeaux. He is the first player to score more than 30 in a season in France’s top division since Bianchi managed 37 in 1977-78.

“I am very proud of the last four years,” Ibrahimovic said in the statement issued by PSG. “I loved every day I spent here. The 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.”

A big fan of Ibrahimovic, PSG coach Laurent Blanc said the striker was a driving force behind PSG’s development as major European force over the past four years.

“Not only on the pitch but also in terms of image and charisma, he’s a player who does not leave one indifferent,” Blanc said. “He contributed to make PSG’s project a reality and maybe exceeded expectations from the owners.”

Ibrahimovic, who has previously expressed his interest for an experience across the Atlantic in MLS, has yet to announce where he is headed.


After leading Sweden during the European Championship starting June 10 in France, he could also cross the English Channel to play in the Premier League. The much-travelled Ibrahimovic, who played one season for Barcelona, has also been linked with a move to Real Madrid, where he is thought to be interested in working with coach Zinedine Zidane.

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