Former Sweden coach warns Chelsea against PSG star

Lars Lagerback explains why Chelsea need to be very careful of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Former Sweden manager Lars Lagerback has warned Chelsea that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is coming for them.

The 65-year-old was the man who handed the 32-year-old his debut for the national team back in 2001 and has watched the striker develop into one of the world’s best footballers.

Unlikely most players, Ibrahomovic has actually become better as he has grown older, with this season being his most productive in terms of goals.

He has scored 25 goals and provided 11 assists in just 30 Ligue 1 appearances and 10 in seven Champions League fixtures.

A controversial figure both on and off the pitch, the Swede has never won Europe’s premier club competition, a blip in what is otherwise a sensational record of winning eight successive league championships between 2004 and 2011 with five different clubs in three different countries.

Last season the former Barcelona and AC Milan star fired PSG to the quarter-finals and this campaign he has done the same. And he will be looking to push the French giants even further, despite Chelsea being their quarter-final opponents.

Ahead of the first leg in Paris on Wednesday, Lagerback has warned Jose Mourinho and his men to be wary of his compatriot’s hunger for success and high demands of himself.

"He has a very special personality and he has high demands from himself," he told Sky Sports News Radio. "I think what is a little bit unique about Zlatan is, from my experience, when good players reach around their 30s, they're not maybe developing so much."

"Of course, you always get more experience and learn to understand the game a little bit better but I think he is unique because he's getting bigger and better every season."

"That's a little bit strange, at least from my experience when you're looking at players above their 30s."

"I don't think it's going to be easy to get better than he is today. He's a fantastic player. He can do some marvellous things that no-one else can do."

"Everyone in England remembers the goal he scored in the friendly last year. He's such an athlete too, he can do some fantastic things."

The goal he is speaking about is the one that Ibrahimovic scored against the Three Lions in a 4-2 win in the first ever match at the Friends Arena in November 2012.

Ibra netted a quadruple against Roy Hodgson’s men on that occasion, but it was fourth that stood out – a 35-yard overhead kick with his back towards goal which eventually won the 2013 FIFA Puskas Award.

Chelsea fans might say that the likelihood of that happening in Paris on Wednesday is a million to one, but ‘Ibracadabra’ has shown time and again in his career that he can conjure up the most unimaginable at the oddest of times.

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