Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic claims the club’s history should only be traced back to when the current owners took over in 2011.
The Ligue 1 champions have experienced a transformation in fortunes since Qatar Sports Investments arrived in the French capital, winning three league titles and three cup crowns.
A domestic treble last season saw some tip PSG for a Champions League push this term and Laurent Blanc’s men head to Stamford Bridge with a 2-1 advantage over Chelsea in their last-16 tie on Wednesday.
And Ibrahimovic has drawn comparisons between PSG and Chelsea, whose Champions League win in 2012 was the culmination of almost a decade of investment from Roman Abramovich.
“The project was launched three years ago [Ibrahimovic’s first season at the club],” he told a news conference. “With all due respect for what went before at PSG, I think the club was born the day the Qataris arrived.
“Chelsea have followed much the same pattern but 10 years before. Just look at how long it took them to win the Champions League.
“What has happened at PSG is exceptional. The club bought many players to assemble a great team.
“Experience plays a big part. We must leave time. They will chase the Champions League until they get it – with or without me.
“A challenge was proposed that I wanted to take. I am now part of the club’s history, individually and collectively.”
Ibrahimovic’s PSG contract expires at the end of the season and a host of clubs are said to be interesting in luring the Sweden captain, but the 34-year-old is not concerned that he could end his glittering career without lifting the Champions League trophy.
“I’m just warming up,” he quipped. “Age is just a number. I feel young. I’ve never had better statistics.
“The Champions League was an early obsession but I became more mature.
“Whether I win it or not, it does not make me a better player. I’m still the same. But if I win I’d be very happy.
“I’m lucky to play in a fantastic club with fantastic players. Without them it is impossible to have success.”