Zlatan Ibrahimovic 'will be welcomed back' when PSG play Ajax
Edwin van der Sar has guaranteed former Ajax striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic a warm welcome when the Paris Saint-Germain star returns to Amsterdam in this season's Champions League group stage.
Ibrahimovic, 32, will likely be fully recovered from the muscular injury he sustained earlier this month to spearhead the French champions when they open their Group F campaign in the Dutch capital on Sept. 17.
The Sweden international left hometown club Malmo to join Ajax in 2001, establishing his reputation in a three-year spell with the Eredivisie giants before developing into a global superstar in Italy.
Van der Sar, 43, had left the club two years prior to the Sweden international's arrival, but has made a comeback of his own and is now Ajax's director of marketing.
Speaking to media after Thursday's group-stage draw in Monaco, the former Netherlands goalkeeper acknowledged he was looking forward to seeing Ibrahimovic and PSG's other ex-Ajax men, Maxwell and Gregory van der Wiel, in Amsterdam again.
"It's great to meet Zlatan Ibrahimovic," he said. "Ajax is the first club he had after leaving Sweden. He scored a lot of goals for Ajax, so it'll be a pleasure to come up against him. It'll also be a reunion with Maxwell and Van der Wiel. It's a source of pride to see so many players who have come through our club. They'll be warmly welcomed in Amsterdam, that's for sure."
Champions League group stage
A: Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Olympiakos, Malmo
B: Real Madrid, Basel, Liverpool, Ludogorets
C: Benfica, Zenit, Leverkusen, Monaco
D: Arsenal, Dortmund, Galatasaray, Anderlecht
E: Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Man City, Roma
F: Barcelona, PSG, Ajax, APOEL
G: Chelsea, Schalke, Sporting, Maribor
H: Porto, Shakhtar, Athletic Bilbao, BATE
Ibrahimovic looked as if he may miss the group-stage opener when he sustained a rib muscle injury in PSG's second league game of the season.
However, initial fears of a minimum four-week layoff have been allayed, and he returned to training on Tuesday, and could even feature in his club's league encounter with Saint-Etienne on Sunday.