In a career during which he is as well known for his outlandish statements as his scoring prowess, Zlatan Ibrahimovic
could be given the benefit of the doubt for a little boasting after Paris
St. Germain beat Chelsea, 2-1, for a second time, this time at Stamford Bridge and advanced to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League. But he was surprisingly grounded after achieving one of
the greatest triumphs of his international career.
Eliminating Chelsea was not the feat it might have been in other years -- Guus Hiddink
, who took over as interim manager for
, said the Blues are officially in a transition period -- but it confirmed what Ibra had been saying. PSG is a club to be reckoned with now and in the future.
“The team, the club I’m playing in now, is a project that began three and a half years ago,” said Ibrahimovic on the eve of the second leg. “With all the respect to what
happened before that, I think the club was born that day when the Qataris took over this club."
Qatar Sports Investments took over as the majority owner of Paris St. Germain in the
aftermath of Qatar's successful bid for the 2022 World Cup, and Nasser Al-Khelaifi
is its chairman and chief executive officer.
“It was a totally new project," Ibra added.
"If you look at the project of Chelsea, they had the same case but 10 years ago. And when did they win the Champions League? It took many years. What we have done in three and a half years I believe
is amazing stuff. They built up a team -- not from zero -- but they bought a lot of players and put them together in three and a half years and made such a good team in such a short time. With time,
they can achieve anything here. There are no limits. Trust me, they will hunt this Champions League until they get it. And they will not stop, with me or without me.”
was involved in both goals, setting up Adrien Rabiot
for the opening goal that required Chelsea to score two goals just to get back even. And he put away the killer second goal after getting a
hold of beautiful from Angel Di Maria
. The evening at Stamford Bridge was a sharp contrast from a year ago when Ibra was sent off.
"It was a good game," he said. "We had a lot of
pressure, but also the ball. We scored twice from a handful of opportunities. We can’t stop now. We'll keep giving our best and try to win all our games in the last two months of the season."
With the French Ligue 1 title all but wrapped up -- it leads second-place Monaco by 23 points -- PSG will be able to concentrate on the quarterfinals of the Champions League, where they
have fallen the last three years. This could be the last hurrah for Ibrahimovic, whose contract expires at the end of the season and has been rumored to be headed to England or MLS.
not in discussion with nobody because for me it's not the time," the 34-year-old Ibrahimovic said Tuesday, on the eve of PSG's Champions League game at Chelsea. "I'm not worried about the future,
because for me the future looks good after the season I'm doing. People say I'm old. I'm only warming up. I don't believe it's the end of my career. Age is just a number and I feel young, I feel very