Apr 1, 2014, 11:16 AM EDT
Saying the day he leaves Paris will be the day he retires or steps down a level, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has laid it out in plain terms: he will never be a Premier League player.
The PSG superstar is contracted to the club through 2016 and had previously hinted that his next destination could be Major League Soccer. But speaking ahead of his club’s UEFA Champions League quarterfinal against Chelsea — and his old manager Jose Mourinho — the big Swede says he’ll have no regrets about not testing the waters of the Premier League.
‘To come to England today is not a question,’ he said. ‘It’s impossible to get me to England. Ask the people behind this (PSG) project; I don’t think they would let me go.
“When I went to Milan there were some talks with English clubs but it was not in the picture.
“I will not look back and say I should have played in England. I am happy. I respect the Premier League; it’s a great competition with many big teams and big individual players.
“But I haven’t been part of it. My stories have been elsewhere. I have no regrets. Thank you.”
Ah, the nearly-patented succinct Zlatan ending is always so pleasing. Can you imagine the conversations he used to have with Mourinho? Have they ever had dinner with Thierry Henry? My goodness.
Ibrahimovic, 32, has been effusive with praise for his former manager, but it will be all business come Wednesday.
‘As a coach he did everything, except win the World Cup with a national team,’ said Ibrahimovic.
‘I am lucky to know him as a person and he is a great person. I had a great relationship with him at Inter.
‘Either you connect or you don’t and we connected. He’s a danger. He’s a great coach. He knows what to do to win and has the experience.’
Have to love how Ibra gets in a slight dig — no World Cup — even in celebrating The Special One. I bet in his spare time Zlatan talks about how he is “The More Special One.”
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