This day has been coming since last summer. Myself, along with the vast majority of the Paris Saint-Germain support were under no illusions that this would be your final campaign. Yet, the announcement yesterday when you revealed that you would be seeking pastures new was one of emotion.
The sentence was short but sweet; ‘I came like a king, left like a legend’. Only you Ibra could get away with saying that! And in the grand scheme of things, that couldn’t have been a more modest statement, even for you. Because my friend, you are more than just a legend.
What you have done for this football club since you arrived in the summer of 2012 is unparalleled. PSG was always considered a relatively big club in France before the QSI takeover in 2011. But, you have put Les Parisiens on the global stage. Yes, the investment from QSI has been the key to that but your presence with the Eiffel Tower etched on your chest has elevated Paris Saint-Germain to a completely different spectrum that we didn’t think was possible.
Your personality, attitude, dedication and will to win have transmitted to not only your peers but the inner core of the club. Mediocrity is no longer an option. It is about winning. And in your time we have won 11 major honours in four years! You, and your goals – an astounding 152 in 178 matches – is the reason for that. And with it, you have cemented your Legacy at the Parc des Princes by not only becoming the all-time leading goalscorer when you overtook the great Pauleta’s tally of 109, but you have smashed it!
Never has once solitary individual made such an impact on this club. A club that will celebrate its 45th birthday tonight at the Parc des Princes as we celebrate a sixth league title. When you consider that the likes of George Weah, Rai, Ronaldinho, Pauleta and Carlos Bianchi have all adorned the blue and red, you are now considered the greatest ever to wear those colours. And you reached that status in just four seasons.
Zlatan, I speak for all those affiliated with the club. We are going to miss you dearly. You will leave a huge void that I genuinely believe will never be fulfilled. Players come and go, legends live forever. You will never be forgotten. You will never be replicated. You are a one off. And we were so fortunate to revel in your brilliance.
Merci Zlatan and much love from all the PSG family,