PARIS (AP) — With Zlatan Ibrahimovic in ruthless form, lowly Sochaux has every reason to dread its trip to Paris Saint-Germain in the French league on Saturday.
Even by his high standards, Ibrahimovic has made a strong start to his PSG career, scoring seven times in five league games and eight in six matches overall. With that ratio, the imposing Swede is being widely expected to break the 30-goal barrier set by France striker Jean-Pierre Papin in the 1989-90 season.
"He is scary when he gets on the ball. Everyone's in awe of him," PSG forward Guillaume Hoarau said. "It wouldn't surprise me if he beats a scoring record this season."
PSG's other strikers can hardly expect to get a chance with Ibrahimovic around, with Hoarau playing only one minute so far.
Not that Hoarau seems to mind watching him from the bench.
"Seeing Zlatan every day in training helps you to learn," Hoarau told RMC radio station. "I respect him because coming to a new club, giving everything in training, always having that will to win, is something I wasn't familiar with. It puts you in your place. You tell yourself, 'Right, I have to get down to work.' That's why I'm happy."
PSG drew its opening three league games, but has won its past three in the league, and past four overall, to climb into third place in the league, two points behind Lyon but still six behind Marseille. All three teams are still unbeaten in all competitions this season.
"We have to make the most of the Sochaux match to keep our winning run going," PSG left back Maxwell said. "An unbeatable team doesn't exist, whether it's in France or another country. We're keeping our focus. We're all aware that we will have to fight hard to claw back the points we dropped earlier in the season."