PARIS: Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed home a minute from time to break Paris Saint-Germain’s single season Ligue 1 scoring record in a 4-0 rout of Nantes on Saturday.
With the title long wrapped up and a French Cup final against bitter rivals Marseille to come a week later, the night was all about Ibrahimovic and his quest to break the record at the Parc-des-Princes.
Having equaled the record of Argentine Carlos Bianchi in the 18th minute with his first goal, Ibrahimovic netted a minute from time from Javier Pastore’s cross to end a match-long quest that had looked set to frustrate him.
“I’m feeling very emotional. Today is a very special day after four years together winning lots of trophies,” said Ibrahimovic.
“Thank you ‘Ibracadabra’, these four years will remain in my heart.”
Ibrahimovic said he hoped PSG would keep on winning, adding: “Without Ibra it’s difficult, but it’s possible!”
It was the perfect end to his last match at the Parc in a PSG shirt before leaving for pastures new and he was immediately substituted, but not before his children ran onto the pitch wearing PSG replica shirts bearing the names King and Legend on their backs — a reference to Ibrahimovic’s Friday tweet in announcing his departure: “I came like a king, left like a legend.”
If anyone had been in any doubt who the night was about, that was surely dispelled in the tenth minute when the ground as one rose to applaud their talismanic import.
Wearing the No.10 jersey, Ibrahimovic acknowledged the crowd as Nantes obligingly waited patiently for almost a minute before taking a free kick.
The visiting defense seemed to oblige in more ways than one against a team clearly intent solely on setting up their center-forward to score.
Ibrahimovic notched his first goal as he played the ball out wide on the right to Angel Di Maria, before sprinting to the back stick where he was able to chest home the Argentine’s cross on his knees from six yards out without a yellow-shirted defender in sight.
If there was one player determined to ruin the party it was Nantes goalkeeper Maxime Dupe, who made a reaction one-handed save to deny a close range Ibrahimovic flick before then thwarting the big Swede when one-on-one as even the linesman seemed unwilling to spoil the festivities.