Zlatan Ibrahimovich claims that Serie A is the best league in the world, mainly, it would appear, because he spent the bulk of his career playing there.
After some eye-catching performances at Ajax, the Swede made a name for himself during a two-year spell at Juventus, where he made 88 appearances for the Italian champions. However, after Juve’s demotion to Serie B on match fixing charges in 2006, Ibrahimovic joined Inter in a £20 million deal.
The Sweden scored 76 times across his three-year spell at the San Siro.
The Paris Saint-Germain striker then spent an additional two seasons in Italy’s top flight with Inter’s local rivals Milan, initially he on loan from Barcelona in 2010 before signing for a fee of £20m.
“At Ajax I wasn’t an international star yet. Everything changed at the Bianconeri (Juventus): the world opened its eyes and saw me,” the ever modest Ibrahimovic said.
“Serie A is the place where I became famous with Juventus,’ he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Apart from the year at Barcelona, I played and lived in Italy from 2004 to 2012.
“I won the title with the three biggest clubs, Juventus, Inter and Milan. I became top scorer, I was chosen as best player.
“For me it remains the best league in the world. And also it’s the most difficult for a striker, because they think firstly about not conceding goals and then about making them.”
Ibrahimovich admitted that Milan made an effort to bring him back to the San Siro last summer, but the clubs failed to strike a deal.
The PSG forward explained: “Last summer, Milan made a concrete offer. If I had said yes, we would have carried out the negotiation. But we never arrived to that point.
“I will always be grateful to Milan, it’s the greatest club that I played for. I was very happy there, if it was for me, I wouldn’t have left Milan. Italy is my second home.’
The striker is under contract with PSG until 2016 and though at 34 he is reaching an age when many players would be contemplating retirement, Ibrahimovic still sees himself as being at the peak of his powers.
“I feel part of PSG’s project,” he added. “When I arrived, things were not working yet, we have built a great team together. It doesn’t matter what they say or write. There is only one boss at PSG. Zlatan Ibrahimovic? Yes, of course.”