Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic greeted fans of his new club Paris Saint-Germain in an ostentatious presentation ceremony in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Wednesday.
Having completed his €20million (24.5million USD, £15.7million) move to the ambitious French side from AC Milan earlier in the day, the 30-year-old striker made a brief appearance at the Place du Trocadero to the west of the city centre.
In front of several hundred fans, onlookers and journalists, the Sweden captain posed with a PSG jersey before kicking a ball high into the crowd, as Paris' iconic Eiffel Tower shimmered in the sunshine behind him.
He was then ushered to a waiting car by security personnel wearing black suits and sunglasses, as supporters chanted 'Ibra! Ibra!' and 'Merci Zlatan!' ('Thank you, Zlatan!'). Earlier, he had appeared in front of the media at PSG's Parc des Princes stadium, after signing a three-year contract that will reportedly earn him €14million a year.
"I want to thank Paris Saint-Germain and [sporting director] Leonardo for the great work they've done," Ibrahimovic told reporters. "I think they've made something that looked impossible, possible. I'm very happy to be sitting here. After lots of talks, I'm finally a PSG player. It's a big step in my career, another dream come true.
"I think this is a very interesting project and I had no doubts," he added. "In my mind I was very clear and I knew what I wanted. I want to be part of this club's history and I'm pretty sure we will make history. I came here to win, not for anything else and I'm pretty sure we'll win some trophies."
Ibrahimovic follows in the footsteps of former Milan colleague Thiago Silva, who completed a move to Paris last week that made the Brazil centre-back the most expensive player in French football history. The departures of Thiago Silva and Ibrahimovic have robbed Milan of their two brightest stars, but Ibrahimovic said he had not been encouraged to leave the cash-strapped San Siro club with whom he won the 2011 Italian title.
"No-one at Milan influenced me," he said. "It was my choice and my choice alone. I was very happy to be at Milan. They gave me my smile back [after a disappointing season at Barcelona in 2009-10]. It's a club that will stay in my heart. They helped me and my family and I don't want to put a shadow over my time there. They made it easy for me to come to PSG so I thank them and I wish them all the best."
Having seen their side pipped to the Ligue 1 title by Montpellier last season, PSG's owners, Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), have redoubled their efforts to turn the team into one of Europe's leading sides. "I'm very proud to announce our biggest transfer, the superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic," said PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi. "I'm very happy that he's here and that we've signed him today. I'm sure he'll add great value to PSG, but also to the French championship."
Ibrahimovic is the fourth player to have joined the club from Serie A this summer, after Thiago Silva, Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi and 19-year-old midfielder Marco Verratti, who was also presented to the press on Wednesday.
The signings of Ibrahimovic and Verratti take PSG's spending on transfers alone to around €100million this summer and over €200million since QSI bought the club a year ago. Leonardo said that the acquisition of Ibrahimovic represented the end of the club's summer spending. "The market is closed for new arrivals," he said. "With Zlatan we've finished in the transfer window this year."
Ibrahimovic, who underwent a medical examination at a Paris hospital on Wednesday morning, met fans outside the PSG club store on the Champs Elysees after the press conference, before being whisked to the Eiffel Tower.
Formerly of Malmo, Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona and Milan, Ibrahimovic has won league titles in three different countries and finished as the top scorer in Serie A last season.