Paris: Paris St Germain are stronger than last season and he is in the best shape of his life, yet Zlatan Ibrahimovic says experienced Chelsea are the hot favourites in the Champions League quarter final against the French champions.
PSG have overcome weaker opponents so far this season and 2012 champions Chelsea are clearly a big test of their European credentials.
“We are beginners in everything we do while Chelsea have had a project for 10 years,” Sweden striker Ibrahimovic, who has scored 10 goals in Europe’s premier competition this season, told a news conference at the Parc des Princes. “I think Chelsea are the super favourites.
“Experience is an advantage for the one who has it. I think Chelsea has more experience in the Champions League. We’re in the position Chelsea were eight or nine years ago.”
“The big difference (with last year) is that it is my second year as well as my teammates’. We know each other better,” said Ibrahimovic.
“I think we are better today than one year ago collectively. It’s the kind of games like Wednesday’s where we can make a statement,” said Ibrahimovic. “It’s a big test for us to see where we stand.”
Coach Laurent Blanc called for patience. “Things have been going very fast but experience of the Champions League requires time,” he said.
“Manchester City is an example but we can see they’re not in the quarter finals. At European level, in spite of our ambitions and our means we’re one of the two clubs with the least experience,” he added, referring to Atletico Madrid who face Barcelona.
Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said Ibrahimovic would be remembered as one of the game’s greatest players despite never gracing the world’s best league. “I think he has to be where he is happy,” Mourinho told a news conference.
“But in the meantime, I think it’s a pity for him that when he finishes his career having played in the most important countries of football and won titles in the most important countries of football, he didn’t play in the best league of the world — the Premier League.”