NO FORMER PLAYERS

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has revealed that he will not try and sign his former player Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Paris St Germain. The French club have all the money in the world thanks to the investment from Qatari owners. They have been spending huge amount of money in the last few transfer windows and it has helped them dominate French and European football in the last few months. They are top of the French league and are also into the quarter-finals of the Champions League. A lot of the success has been owed to the quality of Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The 32-year-old is the top scorer in the French Ligue One with 25 goals. He has also been one of the top scorers in the Champions League as well. His goals helped PSG reach the quarter-finals after a 6-1 aggregate win over Bayern Leverkusen. Ancelotti was the manager who brought Ibrahimovic to the French capital. He has recently taken over at Real Madrid, while he has done exceptionally well in the last few weeks. Despite this, there is a belief that Real Madrid will be even stronger with another striker on-board. Karim Benzema is the only recognised top striker in the squad.

Ancelotti, though, has ruled out of the signing of Ibrahimovic by saying that would not be made available by PSG.

“Will I try to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marco Verratti from PSG? No, not at all. They are players who cannot be dislodged because they are very important to their team. Ibrahimovic and Verratti are very important for PSG. We will not waste time trying to recruit players who would be impossible to sign,” said Ancelotti. “If I am here, it is largely thanks to him (Ancelotti). But last summer, there was no contact so I have not had the opportunity to ask,” said Verratti.

NOT THROUGH YET

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has denied suggestions that Paris St Germain have qualified for the quarter-finals after completing a 4-0 rout of German club Bayern Leverkusen in the first leg of the last 16 round. Ibrahimovic was on target twice in the match, with the Swede scoring yet another sensational goal with his second effort. The first was a penalty. The second leg will take place in the second week of March and it has already been spoken of as a formality, but Ibrahimovic failed to accept such comments saying that PSG will remain professional despite this massive advantage.

After spending lots of money in the last few transfer windows, doing well in the Champions league will be the ultimate motive for PSG. Ibrahimovic, who will not be seen at the World Cup 2014 after his Sweden team failed to qualify, has been one of the best strikers in Europe this campaign. He has scored more than 30 goals in all competitions. January signing Yohan Cabaye scored the fourth goal of the match, while Blaise Matuidi, whose future at the club continues to remain uncertain, opened the scoring.

Ibrahimovic was at the centre of everything good done by PSG. After the match, manager Laurent Blanc praised the centre forward.

“I think we had a good start. After three minutes, we scored a goal, then we played our game, created chances and scored a second and a third, so there were a lot of spaces to play and we did good, very good. We have to play the second leg like we did today. We have a big advantage absolutely, but still we have to be focused and play our game and let’s see what happens in the second game,” said Ibrahimovic.

The 32-year-old is expected to head the FIFA Ballon d’Or award ceremony next season.

ONE OF THE BEST

Paris St Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been one of the best players in the French league so far after plundering 17 goals in the league alone. It has helped PSG top the table with a five-point advantage over Monaco, who have also spent huge amounts of money in the last transfer window. Ibrahimovic was one of the big name arrivals in 2012, but he was expected to be marginalised this season after the signing of Edinson Cavani from Napoli. The Uruguay star was brought to the club for more than £ 60 million.

However, Swedish striker Ibrahimovic has continued to dominate the headlines in terms of scoring and assisting. He was recently given the Puskas Goal of the Year award 2013. He received this award for the incredible goal against England. The former AC Milan and Inter Milan striker said that he is extremely happy to receive the award. He also paid tribute to Lionel Messi, who finally lost out to the incredible streak of winning the last four FIFA Ballon d’Or awards after his competitor Cristiano Ronaldo scooped this coveted prize at this year’s ceremony.

According to Ibrahimovic, Messi is an extraordinary player, who he had the pleasure of playing with. At the time of leaving Barcelona, the 32-year-old criticised Guardiola for giving too much attention to Messi.

“Messi is extraordinary. He does things only seen in videogames. I saw his second goal against Getafe and it was incredible, magical. He’s back and he looks hungry. I really enjoy watching him play. That goal deserved to win the award. One always tries to score incredible goals and it’s very tough. I was just lucky enough to pull it off. I’m still disappointed at missing the World Cup. Everybody wants to be at a tournament like that,” said Ibrahimovic.

HAMREN FUTURE UNSURE

The future of Sweden manager Erik Hamren is in major doubt after his team were knocked out of the World Cup qualifying rounds by Portugal. Sweden were taking on Portugal in the play-off round that would see the winner go through to the World Cup finals. Sweden were coming into the match with the presence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is regarded as one of the finest strikers in the world. Portugal for their part had Cristiano Ronaldo, who is one of the players on the shortlist to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or award.

This match was hyped up as the contest between Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic, but it was the Portuguese who came out on top after scoring only four goals in the tie. He scored the only goal of the game in the 1-0 win in the first leg, which was followed by a thrilling 3-2 victory for Portugal in the second leg. Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in response to Ibrahimovic scoring two goals. As a result of this defeat, Portugal go through to the World Cup finals 4-2 on aggregate leaving Hamren to think long and hard about his future.

“Today it’s too early to talk about [my future], I’m just too disappointed. I just want to go to bed and stay there. But we’ll have that discussion in a short while. It’s a fantastic job, but we’ll see,” said the disappointed Swedish boss after the match. Ibrahimovic said that he will not be watching the World Cup, which will be held without his presence.

His contract with the Swedish national team comes to an end in a few months time, and it looks like they will not be renewing the contract after the failure to reach the World Cup. Hamren chose not to talk about his future after the match.

GROUP C IS TIGHT

Group C is fast approaching a great climax, and the Republic of Ireland will not be adopting a defensive approach to the game according to Sweden manager Erik Hamren. Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni used a very defensive tactics against Sweden when the two teams met each other earlier in the qualification campaign. This led to a boring 0-0 draw between the two teams, but Hamren thinks that the fans could be given a spectacle of attacking football because both teams need to win. It was not good enough for both teams and this could propel them into playing an attacking style of football.

Sweden will undoubtedly be the favourites to get victory from the match due to the presence of PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is regarded as one of the best strikers in the world. Ireland will want to give manager Trapattoni a resounding send off. He is widely believed to be on his last few matches as the manager of Ireland. Germany are on course to winning the group, which leaves the likes of Sweden and Austria to fight for the second and final qualification spot. Both teams are very close to each other with only a couple of points separating them.

Hamren has stated that he wants three points from this match despite this being an away encounter.

“I expect a different kind of match to the one in Stockholm, a more open game. I hope we’ll be able to find the space in behind them to play the ball into. They (Ireland) will hopefully open up a little more, opening up space for us, but then that means we’ll have it a little more difficult defensively. Underestimating? You can forget that. That never happens at this level. Maybe in a friendly, but not in a competitive game,” said Hamren.

ZLATAN HEADING TO ITALY?

Paris St Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been linked with a return to Italian football with the likes of Inter Milan and Juventus interested in his services. The 31-year-old Swedish international has established himself as one of the best strikers in the world over the last decade. His quality has seen him play for the likes of Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax, and Juventus during an illustrious career. He recently helped PSG win their first league title for 19 years by scoring 30 goals last season. However, the arrival of Edinson Cavani for £ 55 million has sparked rumours that Ibrahimovic may be set for an exit from the club.

The player, though, has rejected such speculation by saying that he will be remaining as the PSG player beyond this transfer window. He also revealed that the club are currently set to hold talks with him over the possibility of offering him a pay rise despite the 31-year-old being one of the best paid players in the world. Ibrahimovic has not seen the arrival of Cavani as a threat to his first-team spot. Instead, he has said that he would welcome the Uruguay striker, who would add a lot of quality to the team.

“My future? I am under contract at PSG. There should be no reason for my situation to change in the summer. We will talk details, and I am very confident I know what will happen. As a new player he has to discover the team, the city and the fans. It will be a good reinforcement,” said the 31-year-old. Ibrahimovic has also been linked with a move to the Premier league for a long time. If he does move, then it would make the 31-year-old as one of the few to have played in the major leagues of Spain, Italy, France, and England.

ZLATAN MUST STAY

Paris St Germain defender Thiago Silva has said that Zlatan Ibrahimovic should reject any advances from Premier league outfit in Manchester City in the summer. The Swedish striker has long been a target for City manager Roberto Mancini. They tried to get him while he was at Inter Milan and failed to do so. They once again tried before he moved to PSG, but were unable to do so once again. However, Mancini is not reluctant to miss out on the Swedish striker, who is regarded as one of the best in the world. They are expected to make an offer in the summer as well.

However, Silva has said that Ibrahimovic should consider staying at PSG after helping them to almost win the league title this season. PSG are only a couple of points away from sealing their first league title in France, while they also made it into the quarter-finals of the Champions League – only to be defeated by Barcelona – this season. Silva and Ibrahimovic arrived at PSG at the same time. Ibrahimovic has scored 36 goals in just 43 matches for PSG this season. He is currently the top scorer in the French league. Ibrahimovic is the main target for Mancini in hopes of reclaiming the title from United.

“I hope Zlatan will stay at PSG. He can help the team and the club grow. I really want him to stay put. I have not yet had the opportunity to talk to him about whether he has already made a decision on his future. He’s a normal guy who always wants to win. He gets angry when things don’t go well. Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes it isn’t. I see him as a positive guy, though, who gives strength to the team,” said Silva.

SWEDEN CAN PROGRESS

Buoyed by the recent success against England, Sweden manager Erik Hamren has said that he is confident that his team can secure victory against the Republic of Ireland in the World Cup qualifying match between the two nations. This will be the first World Cup qualifying match for Sweden since October. They have played against England and Argentina in friendly matches during this period. They managed a 4-2 win over England, but they could not repeat the feat against Argentina after losing narrowly 3-2 to the South American team. The match against Ireland will also be the only World Cup qualifying match until June.

Hence, Hamren has said that his team needs to get all three points from this home match in order to at least secure a play-off spot at the end of the campaign. Sweden have almost no chance of catching the latest Germany, who are way ahead at the top of the table. The likes of Austria and the Republic of Ireland are the realistic contenders for Sweden. However, the team could manage only a drab 0-0 draw in the home match. After the encounter, Hamren has said that he is disappointed having taken just one point from home match, but he is confident of success in Dublin when the two teams meet in September.

“Of course we are disappointed with one point at home but, if we win away, we are OK. We tried to win here but couldn’t today. Then we have a bigger task when we come there but it’s possible. It’s possible to win in Ireland too. One question can be that we still aren’t an experienced team. If you see the team today, four or five have only played one qualification game before so some of the players do not have this experience,” said Hamren.

SWEDEN UNBEATEN

Sweden’s unbeaten run in all competitions, which stretched to 10 matches, finally came to an end after the 3-2 defeat at the hands of Argentina in a recent friendly match. This was one of the high profile matches for Sweden in the current year. Their previous defeat also came against a South American nation – Brazil. Even though the Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi was not on the scoresheet, Argentina still managed to score three times. Lustig’s own goal after just 3 min gave Argentina a very early lead in the match, but Sweden were able to pull a goal back through Olsson in the 18th minute.

The Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero did not take long to put Argentina back into the lead after he scored straight from the kick-off in the 19th minute. Argentina soon doubled their advantage in the match through a goal from the Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain 4 min after the goal from Aguero. Argentina maintained this incredible advantage throughout the match only for a late goal from Elm to provide Sweden with hope of getting something out of the game. However, it never materialised and Argentina held on for the victory. It also meant that Sweden suffered their first defeat since August.

“They have a skilled team with a lot of skilled players. You can park the bus in front of your own goal and hope for counterattacks. We chose to play our own game,” said the Sweden manager Hamren. “I think we moved the ball very well. We had some problems with the aerial game, as they had some tall people,” said the Argentina coach Alejandro Sabello. Sweden’s next match will be a World Cup qualifying match against the Republic of Ireland, who managed to win their friendly match against Poland. This match will take place in the month of March.

ZLATAN IS ONE OF BEST

The French club Paris St Germain signed the Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the summer for around £ 20 million. He has been one of the best buys for the club in recent years, as he has been able to help them challenge for a position at the top of the table. The striker has already scored 18 goals in all competitions for the club, while he recently was involved in an even more extravagant display for the national team in the match against England. The 31-year-old has stated that he is extremely happy to be at PSG creating a new history for the club.

Backed by the Qatari owners, the club has been spending big on several players over the last couple of transfer windows. The presence of the former Chelsea and AC Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti has helped them attract talent as big as Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Despite being the only club for the French capital Paris, they have been unable to take the league title yet. Ibrahimovic believes that the club are in a major period of transition and they will be successful in a short while. Even though the project began more than a year ago and he has been at the club for only six months, Ibrahimovic has already seen major progress made by the club on and off the field.

“Paris is a club in major transition. For me, everything has been positive but in the end everything depends on the results. If we win, everything will be better. We have some fantastic players but this project only began a year-and-a-half ago and I have only been here six months but I have seen things advance very, very quickly. I knew when I came here, it would be a big thing for the media because to come to Paris was not necessarily expected for a player at the peak of his career,” said Ibrahimovic.