Carlo Ancelotti confirmed the 30-year-old Swede will be on the pitch to start Saturday night's friendlyWASHINGTON -- Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be in the starting XI as he makes his Paris Saint-Germain debut versus D.C. United Saturday night at RFK Stadium.
“Zlatan will start, yes,” PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti told reporters before his team trained Friday. “I think he is a little bit behind, but he doesn't have a problem to play because he has ability.”
The Swedish striker joined up with his teammates in New Jersey earlier in the week, and the Italian coach said his form in training convinced him he was ready to start Saturday's friendly.
“Zlatan trained for three days, he didn't have a problem. He trained well, professional,” Ancelotti said. “He is going to play tomorrow for his first game....we will be excited for him.”
Following Sweden's exit from Euro 2012, the French side made a stunning double-swoop for Ibrahimovic and his AC Milan teammate Thiago Silva. The transfer cost a reported 62 million euros.
“These are the most important players I think in Europe -- Ibrahimovic as a striker, Thiago Silva as a defender,” Ancelotti said of the duo.
Silva is missing out on PSG's U.S. tour, as he is with the Brazil side attempting to capture Olympic gold.
Ancelotti also spoke of his team's opposition, featuring All-Star MVP Chris Pontius and All-Star captain Dwayne De Rosario.
“D.C. United is one of the best teams in the American league. I think that the American league in general is good because of the arrival of a lot of players from Europe, and I think that improved the quality of play,” the manager said.
The man of the hour briefly stopped by the throng of reporters anxiously awaiting his entrance and shared his excitement at making his bow for the Parisian giant.
“I am very happy. Tomorrow I will make my debut,” Ibrahimovic said.
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