PARIS: Former Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic said Tuesday he did more for France than President Francois Hollande simply by paying the top rate of tax on his earnings.
“Ibra came and took power in France,” the Swede, who is preparing for Euro 2016 after winning won four league titles, three League Cups and two French Cups in four seasons at PSG, told Le Monde newspaper.
The former Ajax, Juventus, Milan and Barcelona striker said he earned more than 20 million euros ($22.7 million) in the first half of 2015, and claimed he paid 75 percent of it in tax.
“I help this country more than he (Hollande) does because I continue to pay it (the top rate),” Ibrahimovic said.
“I can tell you as I do my own tax returns.
“I pay my taxes and help this country. I could even make him popular (Hollande) — it’s just I’m not sure I want to,” he said of the deeply unpopular Socialist leader.
New polls last week showed Hollande only had a 14-percent approval rating after three months of sometimes violent demonstrations against the government’s controversial labour reforms.
Despite being among the most unpopular French post-war leaders, Hollande is considering whether to stand for a second term in next May’s presidential elections.
When asked if he was on the left or right of the political spectrum, Ibrahimovic said he didn’t like to talk politics because he didn’t know anything about it.
“I’m a man of the people, neither left nor right,” he said.
The 34-year-old, who has been linked with Manchester United, had hinted he might reveal his new club Tuesday.