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PARIS SAINT GERMAIN

Zlatan past 100 mark with impressive hat-trick

Swedish star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his 100th goal for Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, with an impressive hat-trick that sent the team to a 4-1 French Cup semi-final victory over Saint-Etienne as their epic quest for a four-trophy sweep continued apace.

Zlatan past 100 mark with impressive hat-trick
Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a match against Marseille earlier this week. Photo: AP Photo/Claude Paris

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The Swede's opener from the penalty spot on the 21st minute was his 100th goal for the club. He then rounded the goalkeeper on 81 for the second, and completed his hat-trick with a fine run and shot in injury-time.

Saint-Etienne coach Christophe Galtier praised Ibrahimovic as “the greatest foreigner to have played in France” as he lamented his side's inability to match PSG's pounding artillery.

PSG have scored 11 times against Saint-Etienne in four matches this season of which eight have come off Ibrahimovic's boot. They now face second division Auxerre, who beat holders Guingamp 1-0 on Tuesday, in the Cup final at the Stade de France on May 30th.

Paris also take on Bastia in the League Cup final at the same venue on Saturday, face Barcelona in Paris in the Champions League quarter-finals first-leg next Wednesday and they lead Ligue 1 by a singe point from Lyon. No French club has ever clinched the domestic treble.

Ibrahimovic's hat-trick in Wednesday's match made him PSG's second top all-time scorer, just seven shy of Pauleta's 109 goals.


Zlatan Ibrahimovic now has his own search engine. Photo: Screenshot of zlaaatan.com

In other news, the 33-year-old striker hit international media for reasons off the football pitch as well, after a Swedish-based advertising agency set up an online search engine called zlaaatan.com. The search engine works exactly like Google, except for one detail: it will link every search to Zlatan-related stories only. Since its launch last Thursday, it has been used by over 100,000 people worldwide.

“If you type Ferrari you find information on the Ferrari Zlatan. If you are looking for recipes, you have Zlatan Burger. Zlatan is an idol. He is known to the world, which is why we chose him,” explained Andreas Killander, creative director at SweetPop, to L'Equipe.

“We did not ask him for his permission, but we hope that he will see it as a fun experience.”

Meanwhile, the giant Swede, who makes headlines for his offhand comments almost as often as for his football feats, was set to face the French league's disciplinary commission on Thursday for comments made after his side's defeat at Bordeaux on March 15th, when he labelled France a “shit country” that “does not deserve PSG”.

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PR

‘No impact’ on PSG from president’s probe

Paris Saint-Germain are unaffected by the World Cup corruption investigation launched against chairman Nasser al-Khelaifi, a source close to the club has told AFP.

'No impact' on PSG from president's probe
Former Fifa Secretary General Jerome Valcke and PSG's Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaïfi. Photo: STF/AFP

Swiss prosecutors revealed this week they are probing Khelaifi, who heads the Qatari-owned beIN Media group, and disgraced former Fifa executive Jerome Valcke over the sale of media rights for World Cups from 2018-2030.

A villa on Sardinia that Italian police say Khelaifi used as “a means of corruption” has been seized and searched.

An aide close to Khelaifi said he denies all the accusations and has done nothing wrong.

The probe has cast a shadow over an exciting start to the season at the Parc des Princes following the signing of Brazilian superstar Neymar in a world record €222 million ($262.5 million) deal and the arrival of French teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe.

A source close to the club said it was unaffected by the swirling allegations.

“An investigation is under way, Nasser al-Khelaifi is implicated in his role as president of beIN Media. It has no link with PSG and so there is no panic among the sponsors, or within the club,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

PSG, who lead Ligue 1, put their unbeaten record on the line away to Dijon on Saturday.

Their closest rivals for the title, reigning champions Monaco, lost ground following a 3-2 defeat to Lyon on Friday.