Ibrahimovic Wins ‘Ligue One Player Of The Year’ Award

Zlatan Ibrahimovic-Ligue One Player of the YearParis Saint-Germain (PSG) forward, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has been named the ‘Ligue One Player of the Year’.

The 34-year-old Swedish bagged the award on Sunday, making it the third time in four seasons.

After scoring 35 goals in the French league and a total of 45 in all competitions, Ibrahimovic was handed the trophy by Dutch legend, Edgar Davids, at the UNFP Awards ceremony in Paris.

Also at the ceremony, Ousmane Dembele of Stade Rennais FC clinched the ‘Young Player of the Year’ award, beating Vincent Koziello of Nice, Thomas Lemar of AS Monaco and PSG’s Adrien Rabiot.

The French league champions’ coach, Laurent Blanc, claimed the ‘Ligue One Coach of the Year’ prize for the second successive season.

UCL: Blanc Says PSG Comeback Will Be Difficult Against Barcelona

PSGParis Saint-Germain Coach, Laurent Blanc has admitted that beating Barçelona will be “very difficult” when both teams meet in the 2nd leg of their quarter final pairing on Wednesday night.

Blanc spoke during the pre-game press conference ahead of the game in Camp Nou.

“I am a realist and we know that it will be very difficult, given that we have had little time to prepare for the game. We don’t have anything to lose and we will simply play our usual game,” he said.

Whilst highlighting the fact that his team has nothing to lose, he also spoke about their chances to make it through and what the team needs to do.

“We will have the chance to score goals. The only problem is that to get through we cannot concede more. That is impossible given that the majority of teams have conceded.”

Having lost the first leg 3-1 at home, Paris Saint-Germain will have to come from behind if they are to make it to the semi-finals of this season’s Champions League.

“Barca dominated but we also will have the ball, but we have to show that we can make them work hard. We will try to pressure them high up the field,” he said.

Captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be returning from suspension and Blanc expects this to be major boost for his team.

“The return of Ibrahimovic will have a great impact and he is a player who has great self-confidence. He loves this kind of game.”

Argentine midfielder, Javier Pastore, also corroborated his manager, “It will be a tough game and I think the only positive is that we have nothing to lose,” he said.

He added, “We have to play well and we will try to score early on to get some confidence. We can win or lose but we go out with the aim of playing well and making our fans happy.”

FC Barcelona Striker, Luis Suarez, is however not taking anything for granted despite their huge 3-1 advantage.

“We know the result is in our favour but PSG have a lot of good players and we have to face the game at Camp Nou with the same intensity as last week,” Suárez said, adding that “the most dangerous thing is to think that our work is done.”

Champions League: Terry Reacts To Ibrahimovic’s Insult

John-Terry-on-IbrahimovicChelsea captain, John Terry, has reacted to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s description of his team mates as “babies”, saying Paris St Germain (PSG)’s players were similarly guilty on a night of ill-discipline at Stamford Bridge.

Ibrahimovic, 33, was shown a straight red card after 31 minutes of the UEFA Champions League last 16 second leg draw on Wednesday, subsequent to a tackle on Chelsea’s midfielder, Oscar which prompted his team mates to surround the referee and demand punishment.

Meanwhile, television replays had suggested PSG forward, Ibrahimovic was no more at fault than Oscar.

“You have to stick up for your team mates. Every side is as bad as each other. It is part of the game,” Terry said, responding to reproach of Chelsea’s conduct.

Despite referee, Bjorn Kuipers, being surrounded by almost the entire Chelsea team, Terry said he was only responding to provocation from the PSG players.

“Once they’re charging the ref, the only thing we can do is respond.

“You can’t as a group of players let them surround the ref, trying to get our players booked.

“For me if I have to run 20, 30 yards, it doesn’t look great but when you’re standing back and seeing five or six of their players surrounding the ref, I think I support my team mates.

“And once I go, four or five go with me, it doesn’t look good at all but that’s part of the game. We will match it if people want to mix it,” the 34-year-old said, adding that it is also part of the game.

However, in an interview with reporters at Stamford Bridge after the game, Ibrahimovic said: “I don’t know if I have to get angry or start to laugh.

“For me, when I saw the red card I was like, ‘the guy doesn’t know what he’s doing’.

“That is not the worst. The worst is when I got the red card, all the Chelsea players come around. It felt like I had a lot of babies around me.”

UEFA’s disciplinary panel will review Ibrahimovic’s red card at its meeting next week.

PSG Coach, Laurent Blanc, said that the club would appeal against Ibrahimovic’s red card and hoped he would be available for the quarter-final.

The French side went through on away goals after drawing 2-2 on the night, thanks to Thiago Silva’s header in extra time.

Deschamps appointed France coach

The French Football Federation (FFF) have appointed former France international footballer Didier Deschamps as the new coach of the French National football team. A statement from the FFF confirmed the appointment on Sunday.

Deschamps recently left his position as Olympique de Marseille boss amidst speculations that he is the favourite to replace his former team mate, Laurent Blanc who opted not to renew his contract after the quarter final exit at the European championships.

No details about the length of his contract have been disclosed, but his deal is expected to run until the 2014 World Cup, with the option of two further years, taking him through to Euro 2016, which will be played in France.