Mourinho: Losing Ibrahimovic was great for Ligue 1

24 December 2016 15:05

Jose Mourinho thinks fans in France should be happy Zlatan Ibrahimovic chose to leave Paris Saint-Germain because “now they have a league”.

The 35-year-old joined Manchester United on a free transfer ahead of the 2016-17 season, ending a glittering four-year stay with PSG that saw him win Ligue 1 in every campaign.

Ibrahimovic has impressed for United, scoring 16 goals in 25 appearances across all competitions.

But his manager Mourinho thinks French fans should be grateful for his exit, rather than rueing the loss of a great talent.

“First of all I think people in France have to be happy that he left because now you have a league,” Mourinho said to SFR Sport.

“With him – no league. With him [the winners are] Paris and Paris and Paris. [They won the] League, the Cup, League Cup, Super Cup – everything – and now you have a league.

“Now you have a league that I watch. I am interested. Nice, [Mario] Balotelli. Monaco, my friend Leonardo [Jardim] against Paris.

“Now I watch Ligue 1, so you have to thank him that he left.”

Mourinho believes Ibrahimovic is a better player now than he was during their time together at Inter during 2008 and 2009.

The United boss added: “He does phenomenal. He is not just about goals, he is about the passion he brings to training sessions. 

“With me, I keep saying that I had him when he was 25, 26 years old, maybe 27. Now I have him in the last period of his career and I prefer this player.”

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