PSG send out statement to Europe, says Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic said Paris Saint-Germain had sent out a message to the rest of the continent after their 4-1 thumping of Dynamo Kiev in their opening Champions League group game on Tuesday.
Ibrahimovic’s early penalty set PSG on their way to the three points against the Ukrainians, with Thiago Silva, Alex and Javier Pastore also on target for the hosts and Miguel Veloso grabbing a consolation for Dynamo.
Yuri Semin’s side were poor, and PSG will undoubtedly face stiffer tests if they are to progress in Europe this season, but Ibrahimovic insisted the Ligue 1 club deserved all the credit for winning in such fashion.
“To win 4-1 looks easy but it wasn’t easy,” said the Swede, who was in a relaxed mood after the game, having scored his 29th goal in the competition with a sixth different club, despite not having produced his best performance, in his own eyes.
“After the game people look at it and say the opponents were not good, but I think we made them look bad. It doesn’t mean they are a bad team.
“We will take this confidence for the next game. When you play in the Champions League you grow as a team and also as an individual. This is a statement to France and the rest of Europe that Paris has quality and big potential to do something important.”
The former Barcelona and AC Milan man said that winning the group was not the most important thing, as long as PSG progress, but admitted that “after this result people are getting big hopes and putting us up there as one of the favourites.”
One reason PSG fans were getting so excited about their team’s prospects after the Dynamo game was the performance of Thiago Silva, the Brazilian centre-back who marked his debut with a goal.
“I think today we showed our quality and showed that we have a top team,” said the player who had struggled with injury since a 42-million euro ($54.8m) move from AC Milan in July.
“It was great for me, after a month out injured, without playing, to come in and score a goal on my debut.”
PSG now travel to Portugal in a fortnight to face Porto, who also won in their opening Group A game, 2-0 at Dinamo Zagreb thanks to goals from former Marseille midfielder Lucho Gonzalez and the Belgian Steven Defour.
That showdown is already shaping up to be decisive in deciding who takes control of the section, and it will be a special game for Silva.
He was first brought to Europe by Porto back in 2004 but departed with his tail between his legs having spent a year on the sidelines largely spent battling tuberculosis, and moved on to a similarly disappointing spell at Dynamo Moscow.
Silva has come a long way since that spell at the Estadio do Dragao.
“That could be a decisive game, but it will depend on the other results too,” he said. “It will be an important match and coming up against them provides me with plenty motivation.
“I had a difficult time there. I had few opportunities there because of health problems. I just wanted to play there but sadly it wasn’t possible.”