Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Ibrahimovic is France's undoubted top-billed star
French football’s landscape was transformed by the takeover of Paris Saint-Germain in summer 2011. Since then, Ligue 1 has been less about producing its own talent and championing it on the European stage, and more about bringing in stars, nurturing them and combining them with some elements of homegrown talent.
PSG represent the future of French football, an example of what some of their domestic competition need to do (albeit on a less grandiose scale) to once again be recognized and respected as European football powers.
Despite his 31 years of age, Zlatan Ibrahimovic best represents this at present.
The mercurial Swede is the talent that the capital club had been looking for to anchor their project ever since they realized that €42 million golden boy Javier Pastore was not actually all that. The PSG hierarchy picked Ibra for his ability to score goals, to provide, for his experience, his unerring consistency and, most of all, for the excitement that he brings.
Zlatan hasn’t disappointed either. Just six months into his time in France, Ibrahimovic has 18 goals in 16 league appearances to his name, not including a fruitful group stage contribution in the Champions League. Whilst many accuse him of having been a flat-track bully in Italy and Spain, it should be noted that he has made telling contributions against France’s other big three (Marseille, Lyon and Lille).
An undoubted superstar, Ibrahimovic is head and shoulders above the competition in le Championnat currently whilst the competition is in transition.
The story, however, is only just beginning.