PSG v Chelsea: Laurent Blanc responds to Jose Mourinho jibe about Ligue 1

PSG manager retorts that Mourinho was in charge of a dominant Real Madrid side

Paris St Germain boss Laurent Blanc has hit back at Jose Mourinho's taunt that Ligue 1 is a cakewalk for the Parisiens by pointing at the Portuguese's history with Real Madrid.

Mourinho, who won one Primera Division title in three seasons in Spain in a Barcelona-led duopoly, had suggested winning Ligue 1 is easy, stoking the fires ahead of his Chelsea side's Champions League quarter-final first leg at Parc des Princes on Wednesday night.

"Maybe if we're talking about the league and I'm sure that Jose Mourinho knows the French league very well," Blanc said.

FOLLOW OUR LIVE BLOG OF THE MATCH HERE

"There are two really big clubs in Ligue 1 (PSG and Monaco), but if I remember correctly, I think it was the same for him in Spain, with Barcelona and Madrid.

"The only answer we want to give is to show a great performance tomorrow and we'd like to show that Ligue 1 has some very good teams and some very good players."

Big-spending PSG have not hidden their admiration for Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Oscar in the build up to the contest, while David Luiz has also been linked with a move across The Channel.

 

Hazard moved to Chelsea from Ligue 1 side Lille after the Blues' European Cup triumph in 2012 and is enjoying a stellar second season.

"In France we know Eden really well," added Blanc, who would not be drawn on a potential bid for the Belgium playmaker.

"We always thought he was very impressive in a one-vs-one situation and how fast he is on his feet and his movement.

"Since he got to Chelsea he has scored more and more goals, creates many dangerous opportunities and I've also noticed that when Chelsea is in a difficult period of the game, he has the freedom to go everywhere in trying to bring the team up.

"He's still very young, he has a lot of room for development and I foresee a very bright future."

Hazard is early in his career, while time is running out for 32-year-old PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to earn a Champions League winners' medal.

Despite plying his trade with many of Europe's elite clubs - from Ajax to AC Milan to Barcelona - Ibrahimovic has not yet lifted the European Cup.

It is something he is eager to rectify with PSG, but he is not yet ready to consider that it might be this season.

"This is my last contract in Europe and to win it I will have to win it with Paris," said Ibrahimovic, who is under contract at the Parc des Princes until 2016.

"The day I leave Paris is the day I will go down a level or quit football.

"If we will be the kings of Europe, I don't know. I don't want to think so far (ahead). Let's think about the two games against Chelsea."

Ibrahimovic, who has scored 41 goals in his last 36 appearances for club and country, does not expect to get another opportunity with a Premier League club, as PSG's Qatari owners would be reluctant to let him depart, leaving a host of potential suitors disappointed.

Ibrahimovic, himself, is content.

"It's impossible to get me to England," added Ibrahimovic, who revealed potential moves earlier in his career did not materialise.

"The day I stop with football it will not be that I look back and I say to myself 'Maybe I should've played in England.'

"I haven't been part of it. I made stories in other countries. It's nothing that I regret."

The disappointed would include Mourinho, who managed Ibrahimovic at Inter Milan.

"I connected with him," Ibrahimovic said.

"Wherever he went he won. He's a great coach, he knows what he's doing, he knows what he needs to do to win and he has the experience."

Ibrahimovic believes PSG are eight years behind Chelsea in 'project' terms after a cash-injection to surpass Roman Abramovich's in the early years.

As a result, Ibrahimovic believes the Londoners are favourites to advance to the last four for a seventh time in 11 years; PSG are in the quarter-finals for the third time and last season exited to Barcelona on away goals.

"In our game I think Chelsea is the super favourite," he said.

PA

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada