Ibrahimovic completes move to big-spending PSG

(Photo: AP)

July 19, 2012, Thursday/ 14:12:00

Zlatan Ibrahimovic completed his much-anticipated move to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, saying he has joined “the dream team” after becoming the big-spending French club's most high-profile signing yet.

PSG missed out on the league title last season despite spending more than €100 million ($123 million) on players and it has upped the ante this offseason, topping it all with the transfer of Ibrahimovic from AC Milan in what sporting director Leonardo dubs “the biggest deal in this club's history.”

“I want to thank PSG and Leonardo,” Ibrahimovic said. “They made something impossible possible and now I am very happy. It's a big step in my career, another dream come true.

“I know there's been a big media interest in this. It's been more intense than when I moved to Barcelona. I'm very excited in this project. I'm here to make history and I will enjoy all the trophies we bring home.”

The Sweden captain has signed a three-year contract with PSG, worth a reported €14 million ($17 million) net a year, 2 million Euros more than he earned at Milan.

“It seems that I will finish my career here but that's what I said at Milan too,” the 30-year-old Ibrahimovic said. “You never know what will happen. But I'm not thinking about that at the moment, I'm thinking about winning during my time here.”

PSG has paid a reported €20 million ($25 million) for Ibrahimovic, taking its summer spending on new players to an estimated €112 million ($137 million). The club's Qatari owners are intent on turning the club into a European power and have already signed Ibrahimovic's former Milan teammate Thiago Silva and Napoli's Ezequiel Lavezzi this preseason. Midfielder Marco Verratti was also unveiled Wednesday after completing his move from Pescara.

Leonardo said there will be no more signings this offseason, even though the club has been infused with seemingly limitless amounts of cash since a member of the ruling family in oil-rich Qatar bought the Paris club a year ago. Sheik Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani's Qatar Sports Investments now owns 70 percent of the club.

PSG's huge outlay last season included spending a French record €42 million ($55.4 million) on Argentine playmaker Javier Pastore, as well as signing winger Jeremy Menez from Roma, midfielder Mohamed Sissoko from Juventus, defenders Maxwell from Barcelona and Alex from Chelsea, along with midfielder Thiago Motta from Inter Milan.

Ibrahimovic's arrival has thrilled most French football supporters, with hundreds gathering at PSG's official store on the Champs-Elysees to welcome the star after the news conference. However, not everyone is happy with the transfer, with French sports minister Valerie Fourneyron decrying the spending spree. ”These sums are astronomic, they are unreasonable,” she said. “They reflect everything we deplore in the footballing sector today -- that is to say the absence of any regulation, and debts which keep on accumulating.

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