Zlatan up in lights as Malmö celebrates special homecoming
PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic could not hide his excitement when he faced the press in Malmö ahead of this evening's long awaited Champions League match against his home town club at a sold-out Swedbank Stadium.
The 34-year-old from Rosengård scored 16 goals in 40 appearances for Malmö FF before leaving for Ajax in 2001 and embarking on a remarkable career that has included domestic titles in Holland, Italy, Spain and France.
Now, fourteen years later, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has returned to Malmö with his club Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
"I shall just enjoy it," the striker said at Tuesday evening's pre-match press conference. Speaking of the city and club where it all began, he said."The love has always been there. I went to Europe at an early age. The connection to Malmö has always been there," he told media.
After the draw for the group stages of the Champions League was made back in August, the star booked Malmö's main square, Stortorget, in order to show the game on a giant screen. "It will be heard all over Malmö and I want everyone to have a chance to see the match. It will be a memory for life," he said on Tuesday.
"It has not happened to many footballers and I get to experience it. And I want everyone who lives here should feel the same thing as I do."
PSG need just a point to qualify from a group which also contains record times winners Real Madrid. Asked by a French reporter what he would do if he scored, Zlatan said that he had not planned anything.
"I don't want to sit here and lie and say I will do this or that. I don't know what will happen. What happens will happen in that moment. When you score a goal , and when I scored the second goal against Denmark, I did not know that i would run to the bench and slide on my knees, because that is an emotion that is difficult to describe. I want it to be natural and original," said the star, who is certainly an original.
The French champions won 2-0 in the first fixture in Paris, and Malmö FF hope that the home crowd make a difference on Wednesday. The Swedes are aiming to finish third in the group ahead of Shahktar Donetsk, which would clinch a place in the Europa league.