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May 19, 2014

PSG consider future Ibrahimovic role

PSG forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic admits that his side have found it difficult to motivate themselves after clinching a second consecutive league title.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic could become Paris Saint-Germain's sporting director when he ends his playing career, the French champions' president has said.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has enjoyed another highly impressive campaign with PSG.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has enjoyed another highly impressive campaign with PSG.

Johnson: PSG sign off in style
Leonardo hints at PSG return

Ibrahimovic, 32, signed a one-year contract extension last summer, taking him through to 2016 at the Parc des Princes. He has intimated PSG will be the last club of his career, and Nasser Al Khelaifi, 40, told RTL the Swedish striker has already been offered a behind-the-scenes role in the French capital.

"It's top secret, and I haven't told any other media, but I have spoken to Zlatan about him staying with us when he stops, and that he becomes 'sports director,'" the Qatari said. "If he does that, he'll become the best sporting director in the world. He's really tough in negotiations. I know, because he's negotiated with us! He has a big personality. Everyone respects him."

PSG have been without a sporting director since Leonardo stepped down from the position last July, and Al Khelaifi is determined to build a tradition that, as at Real Madrid or AC Milan, sees former players use their experience and know-how to the club's benefit.

"I want to keep a former player when he stops, for example, Zoumana Camara, who I want to keep with us," Al Khelaifi explained, referring to PSG's veteran defender who recently signed a contract extension.

"I appreciate the professionalism of Zlatan, and Zlatan as a man. He's very, very funny. He's the soul of the team."

For the moment, Ibrahimovic remains very much part of the playing staff, and added a 26th goal of the league season in PSG's 4-0 final-day triumph over Montpellier on Saturday to cap a spectacular campaign for him individually and for his club.

While the former Milan forward ended as Ligue 1's leading scorer and won the French top-flight's Player of the Year award for the second successive season, he also helped PSG defend their domestic title with a record 89 points, as well as winning the Coupe de la Ligue and the season-opening Trophee des Champions.

However, teammate Thiago Motta told the media that disappointments in the Champions League, where PSG succumbed dramatically to Chelsea in the dying minutes of their quarterfinal tie, and in the Coupe de France meant the season had not been as exceptional as it might appear.

He said: "Three titles -- I think that's the minimum for this team. We know it's difficult in the Champions League, but next year, we're going to try to win it and do a little more than this year. This year, I really think we did the minimum."

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