Speaking to news crews ahead of Paris Saint-Germain's UEFA Champions League clash with Chelsea, striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic claimed he had no plans to move to the English Premier League in the future and that he was fully focused on the PSG project.
As reported by The Telegraph's Matt Law, the Swedish international said:
To come to England today is not a question that is brought up. I think, first of all, it's impossible to get me to England. If you ask the people behind this project, I don't think they'd let me go.
And with my own thinking, when I went to Milan I was speaking to some English clubs, but it didn't end up with me coming to England. The day I stop football, I won't look back and think maybe I should have played in England.
I have respect for the Premier League, a great competition with good individual players and I haven't been part of it... I've made stories in other countries. It's nothing that I regret.
I have a contract until 2016 and, after that, I don't know the future. Maybe my mind is old. Maybe I'm tired. I don't know. It's far away from today.
Ibrahimovic is one of football's most travelled players, with stints in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France, and the attacker has won trophies in every league he has played in over the course of his brilliant career.
The Champions League has eluded him thus far, however, and the Swede made it clear that if he were to win the Old Big Ears, it would be with PSG.
"This is my last contract in Europe, so to win it I have to win the Champions League with Paris," he said. "The day I leave Paris, I either go down a level or quit football. I'm very happy."
PSG currently lead the French Ligue 1 by a huge margin, and Zlatan has one of the best track records in all of football when it comes to winning, having won trophies with Ajax, Juventus, Inter, Barcelona, Milan and now Les Bleus. But the EPL trophy is one the forward has never lifted, and now it seems like he never will.
Ibrahimovic has never been one to stay at the same club for a long time, but he seems to be very happy in the French capital. The striker spoke about his current situation, per Law:
I'm very happy with this situation, how it is here. The club is doing an amazing job to become like the other European top clubs. I've seen big changes in the two years, developments on and off the field that I haven't seen elsewhere.
The people behind this project aren't aiming low or medium. These people aim more than high. I'm happy to be part of this project and this development.
As shared by Victor Fagerstrom, Zlatan is convinced he would have dominated English football had he made the move, using the example of what happened the last time he faced the English national team:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: "The last time I faced England, what happened? Maybe people need to be reminded that it was the Zlatan show."— Viktor Fagerström (@ViktorFagerLFC) February 22, 2014
The Swede is one of the greatest players of our time, and EPL fans must be disappointed they never got the chance to see the legend himself play in the league every single week.
Chelsea's Jose Mourinho responded to Ibrahimovic's comments, per Chelsea's official Twitter feed:
Mourinho: It is a pity for Ibrahimovic if he finishes his career and hasn't played in the best league the world...' #CFC— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) April 1, 2014
Mourinho: '...but his career is so full of success that he's one of the greatest players even if he didn't play in the Premier League.' #CFC— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) April 1, 2014
Goal's Peter Staunton wrote an article last year in which he claimed Zlatan had to come to the EPL, as he had a point to prove:
A career that took him to all corners of Europe never washed him ashore in England. For that egregious snub alone he cannot not measure up to the Anglo-Saxon definition of a great player.
We knew at that point in the winter that the English didn't really rate him. [...]
Well now, if he likes, Ibra might have a chance to change all that. He might have a chance to shove it down their throats once and for all. For now, like never before, he has a golden opportunity to come to England.
But Ibrahimovic has shown his greatness all over Europe and on the international stage, and he has nothing left to prove to anyone.
With a trophy case that is filled to the brim, a massive contract in the French capital and retirement from the professional game drawing ever closer, English fans will probably have to be satisfied with this bit of skill:
Zlatan is happy in Paris, and he has always done exactly what he wants. If he doesn't want to play in England, there is very little that can change his mind.