Ibrahimovic is France’s best-ever foreigner – Galtier

The coach lauded the Swede after his hat-trick eliminated Saint-Etienne from the Coupe de France, while Laurent Blanc hailed his side’s attacking display

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been labelled “the greatest foreigner to ever play in France” by Saint-Etienne bossChristophe Galtier after his team were demolished by the Paris Saint-Germain striker on Wednesday.

The Swede scored a hat-trick to keep PSG’s quadruple hopes alive with a 4-1 thumping of Saint-Etienne in their Coupe de France last-four clash at Parc des Princes, setting up a final with second-tier side Auxerre on May 30.

Ibrahimovic has drawn criticism in recent weeks for appearing to brand France a “s*** country” when ranting about a referee’s performance, but Galtier hailed his quality and thinks he is unrivalled by any other non-French player in the country’s history.

“He is the greatest foreigner to ever play in France,” the Saint-Etienne coach told reporters after Ibrahimovic scored his sixth, seventh and eighth goals against his team this season alone.

“My team did not fare well against Zlatan this season. Fortunately, we don’t have to play PSG a fifth time…”

PSG coach Laurent Blanc was thrilled with his side’s comfortable triumph over les Verts and acknowledged the impact of a number of French-born stars in the clash.

“That was a great game of football, from our attack in particular,” he said. “Saint-Etienne took advantage of our mistakes in the first half but PSG played best after the break.

“The performance was very much appreciated. Since early 2015, the players have been exemplary in training and this is our just reward. I’m delighted for the players who haven’t had as much game time, such as Yohan Cabaye. I also noticed there were a lot of French players who put in a shift.”