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27.07.2009 22:09

Ibrahimovic: "There are big clubs, but none quite this special"

Anna Segura

With a beaming smile on his face, Zlatan Ibrahimovic attended to the press in Sala París at the Camp Nou. The new Barça man knows he has signed for a very special club indeed.

Sala París was the venue for the unveiling to the media of the latest addition to Josep Guardiola’s roster, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Packed to the rafters, it witnessed the first words of the new FC Barcelona star just minutes after he had finally signed his contract.

Worth the wait

The doors to Sala París opened at 20.00, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic entering the room in the company of president Joan Laporta, vice president for sport, Rafael Yuste, and director of football Txiki Begiristain. It all started somewhat later than expected, but the cameras were soon flashing once the man of the moment made his appearance.

Kissing the crest

2009-07-27_PRESENTACION_ZLATAN_IBRAHIMOVIC_007.JPGAfter being pictured holding the Barça shirt with his new number nine on the back, along with his name, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (with an accent on the c) he kissed the FC Barcelona crest, a gesture that naturally provoked applause among the pressmen in the room.

'Ibra': a very happy man

Following a long and complex serious of negotiations, Zlatan Ibrahimovic said he was delighted to finally be on the Barça books: "I am the happiest man in this room right now" he said. The Swede is aware that his move to FCB is a big step forward in his career, saying that “There are big clubs, but none quite this special.”

First contact with Guardiola

2009-07-27_PRESENTACION_ZLATAN_IBRAHIMOVIC_005.JPGAlthough he has yet to meet him personally, Ibrahimovic said he has made telephone contact with Josep Guardiola. He said they had spoken of many things, but was particularly impressed at the way his new manager "wants me to be happy ".

Staying competitive

President Joan Laporta said he has wanted Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his squad for some time. He then welcomed his new signing, describing him as “non-conformist, and ambitious to win. He had the desire to come to Barça". Laporta also said that with this new arrival "we aim to continue winning and to remain as competitive as we have been up to now. And I think that will be possible now he has joined us ".

First option

2009-07-27_PRESENTACION_ZLATAN_IBRAHIMOVIC_002.JPGDirector of football Txiki Begiristain said that once they had decided it was time for Samuel Eto'o to go, "the first option was Zlatan". Speaking about the Swede’s footballing qualities, Txiki is particularly impressed by the way he can shoulder the responsibility of being the main target man, especially with his height of 1.95 metres, and his ability to bring high balls down to feet. “He has quality skills. He is a player who fights, who takes his position and can hold on to the ball ".
Ibrahimovic: “There are big clubs, but none quite this special“

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Thanks to Eto'o
President Joan Laporta also used Ibrahimovic’s presentation to thank Samuel Eto'o for everything he has done, especially during the operation with Inter. The Cameroonian was at Barça for five years. Joan Laporta said he was speaking in the name of his entire board and supporters in saying "he will always be in our collective memories. I hope things go very, very well for him at Inter".

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