Article by Audrey Nolan
Despite a very juicy offer from Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic would move from Inter only to Barcelona. The player said on Monday that Barca was the only team that could take him out of Italy, and the only team capable of making him a better player.
Ibrahimovic made his debut with the Spanish team on Wednesday as a substitute against Manchester City. He set up Lionel Messi for two points against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. Now, he is preparing himself for a final against Shakhtar Donetsk in the European Supercup on Friday. The player wants to demonstrate that he is in sync with Spanish football as well as with his new teammates. Ibrahimovic was brought in to replace Samuel Eto’o, who was transferred to Real Madrid in a multimillion-dollar deal. Eto’o had helped Barcelona win eight major trophies, including two Champions League titles.
Ibrahimovic had been with Internazionale since 2006; he was brought to Inter from Juventus with a €24.8 million deal. At Inter, the player said that he had an agreement with the president to reject any teams that made an offer for him – with the exception of Barcelona. With Barcelona, he said, “you at least discuss.”
Discuss they did. The deal was made for €66 million.[sv1]
“It’s the club that can make me a better football player than I am today,” the 27-year-old Ibrahimovic said[sv2]. “I want to be part of this project and history that Barcelona is making now.”
The player also said that he now faced a great deal of pressure, but added that pressure was a normal part of being a top player in European football. Part of the pressure involves his interaction with his new teammates, particularly Messi, who is one of the best players on the team. Ibrahimovic and Messi have the potential to create a phenomenal duo even though each has a very different style. In fact, Ibrahimovic has himself noted the potential; the Swedish player admires the Argentine a great deal.
Ibrahimovic has also expressed his confidence in the tactics and style of Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, who has brought the Spanish team to an entirely new level of play. Ibrahimovic hopes to bring even more talent to an already very-talented team.
For his part, Guardiola has expressed his support for the new player, who is recovering from a surgery due to a hand injury.
“He can have all the time he needs [to adapt] as long as he continues to show the same commitment that he is showing day in, and day out,” Guardiola said during a news conference.
Ibrahimovic does not regret rejecting Real Madrid’s proposal. Although the team has spent a quarter of a billion Euros already, recruiting players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso, Madrid is still rebuilding. Ibrahimovic seems to think that Barca has as much talent combined with a head start that gives it an edge in the competition.
About the Author
Audrey Nolan is a top senior copy writer on Spanish League Soccer and sports action for the sportsbetting http://www.instantactionsports.com/Feel free to reprint this article in its entirety on your site, make sure to leave all links in place and do not modify any of the content.