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Ibrahimovic arrival marks watershed moment for Paris Saint-Germain

updated 11:48 AM EDT, Wed July 18, 2012
Zlatan Ibrahimovic said his move to French club Paris Saint-Germain was a dream come true
Zlatan Ibrahimovic said his move to French club Paris Saint-Germain was a dream come true
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic signs for French club Paris Saint-Germain
  • Ibrahimovic joins from Italian giants AC Milan for a reported fee of $24.5m
  • Star is latest big-money capture by PSG, owned by Qatar Sports Investment
  • PSG have also signed defender Thiago Motta and striker Ezequiel Lavezzi

(CNN) -- It is the breakthrough signing that has confirmed Paris Saint-Germain's arrival as a potent force in European football as they unveiled Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Tuesday.

The striker has been tempted away from Italian giants AC Milan to ply his trade in the French league, signing on a three-year contract for a reputed fee of $24.5 million.

Ibrahimovic's capture again underlines the intentions of PSG's owners, Qatar Sports Investment, who have repeatedly stated their intention to transform the club into one of the world's biggest and best.

And they have certainly put their money where their mouth is in the transfer market, signing Brazilian defender Thiago Motta as well as Argentina playmakers Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore for enormous fees.

Putting pride back into PSG: Qataris aim to be world's best

But none of those who have joined the fledgling project can match the profile of Ibrahimovic, who was top scorer in Serie A last season with 28 goals.

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"I want to thank Paris Saint-Germain and (sporting director) Leonardo for the great work they've done," Ibrahimovic told a press conference at the club's Parc des Princes stadium.

"I think they've made something that looked impossible, possible. I'm very happy to be sitting here. After lots of talks, I'm finally a PSG player. It's a big step in my career, another dream come true.

"I think this is a very interesting project and I had no doubts. In my mind I was very clear, and I knew what I wanted.

"I want to be part of this club's history and I'm pretty sure we will make history. I came here to win, not for anything else, and I'm pretty sure we'll win some trophies."

Ibrahimovic has played for many of Europe's top clubs in his glittering career to date. He won two Dutch titles during a three year stay at Ajax Amsterdam before moving to Juventus in Italy.

He then moved to Internazionale where he helped the Nerazzurri claim three league titles before he moved to Barcelona, winning five trophies in his two seasons at the Spanish club.

Ibrahimovic left after falling out with former coach Josep Guardiola and returned to Italy to play for AC Milan. There he won the Italian Cup and Serie A title.

French football's $56M man: PSG poster boy Pastore

His decision to leave Italy for a league many believe to be inferior could prove a watershed moment for PSG and the domestic French competition.

But the Swedish star denied some press reports that he was pushed out of Milan because the club were keen to trim their wage bill.

"No-one at Milan influenced me," he said. "It was my choice and my choice alone. I was very happy to be at Milan. They gave me my smile back.

"It's a club that will stay in my heart. They helped me and my family, and I don't want to put a shadow over my time there. They made it easy for me to come to PSG so I thank them and I wish them all the best."

PSG also announced the signing of 19-year-old midfielder Marco Verratti from Serie A club Pescara and the club's sporting director Leonardo said that their transfer business had now been completed.

"The market is closed for new arrivals," he said. "With Zlatan we've finished in the transfer window this year."

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