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Dec 20, 2013

Ibrahimovic won't rule out MLS move

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s main focus is making Paris Saint-Germain into one of the most respected clubs in the world, but he admits that his future could be in Major League Soccer.

The superstar striker talked up his interest in the North American league Friday during a conference call for U.S. reporters to promote PSG’s upcoming friendly against Real Madrid in Doha on Jan. 2.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic said he could be interested in a move to MLS when his PSG contract expires. 

"Of course, [MLS] could be interesting," Ibrahimovic said. "In America, maybe not everyone knows who I am there so maybe I can come over and play some seasons and that way people get to know me."

However, when asked on the specifics of a move, Ibrahimovic stressed that he will see out his contract in Paris.

"Let’s see what happens in the future, I still have another two years to play in Paris and I will fulfill my contract."

While the Swedish attacker, now 32, would likely be out of his prime at that stage of his career, there's no question that he would deliver another big ticket draw to the growing MLS.

Although sometimes testy with media, Ibrahimovic speaks English and has a knack for providing funny quotes.

It also doesn’t hurt that the towering 6 foot, 4 inch forward has scored some of the most breathtaking goals in the sport's history and has 283 goals and 105 assists in league play. At his current club, he’s scored 43 goals in 50 appearances despite being on the wrong side of 30.

"I think I’m like wine. The older the wine gets, the better it is. The older I get, the better I am," he said.

However, Ibrahimovic admitted that he would only come to MLS if he feels that he could continue his tradition of winning titles in the leagues that he’s played in. He’s won at least one title in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and now France. He pointed that at the latter stages of his career, he wants to make sure he’s still a lethal player.

"I will be 34-35. I want to play football, yes, but I want to get results that I can get," Ibrahimovic said. "If I’m 35 and can bring results in MLS maybe I’ll be too old or something. I don’t know but for sure, I want to enjoy football."

Given his age, Ibrahimovic likely won't play in a third World Cup. He played in the 2002 and 2006 finals, but Sweden lost to Portugal last month in a playoff and failed to qualify for their second straight World Cup.

"I didn't reach the World Cup. I did my best and my national team did pretty well too. We did it in a way that we couldn’t do it better. Unfortunately, we faced a nation that was better than us," Ibrahimovic said. "Since then, I’m suffering because I didn't reach the World Cup It goes away slowly, slowly with every game and I’m trying to bring out this anger in every game... in a positive way.  I think that disappointment will come back during the World Cup.

"I’ll be watching my [PSG] teammates in it. Hopefully they win and I’ll be as happy as if I was in it."

As for PSG’s current season, Ibrahimovic is impressed with the team’s resilience this season and hopes the club can challenge for the Champions League trophy.  It would be the first time a French club won the competition. Ibrahimovic pointed to PSG’s growth as a brand. 

"The season has gone pretty good so far and hopefully we will continue to get good results and play hard, focus on our objectives," Ibrahimovic said. "One of those objectives is the Champions League but let's not only focus on that, because it’s easy to not focus on the other trophies that we play for."

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