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Ibrahimovic hails PSG youngsters

11 December 2013 16:33

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has praised Paris Saint-Germain's younger players after reaching the UEFA Champions League knockout stages.

The French champions finished their group campaign with a 2-1 defeat against Benfica at the Estadio de Luz on Tuesday as Laurent Blanc opted to field the likes of Adrien Rabiot, Lucas Moura and Marquinhos.

Despite the loss, PSG finished top of Group C, with Sweden international striker Ibrahimovic impressed by the potential of the trio as well as midfielder Marco Verratti.

"Our team is a savvy mix of experience and youth," the 32-year-old told club magazine 100% PSG.

"We don't play simply with a team of experienced players. The coach has the intelligence to put his trust in young players, and they have seized their opportunities and play a key role in the team's success."

On 21-year-old midfielder Verratti, Ibrahimovic explained he was pleased with the strong partnership forged with Thiago Motta, while also hailing 18-year-old Rabiot.

"Everyone knows now how talented (Verratti) is. Everyone knows how important he is for the balance of the team and I can only admire the partnership he has formed with Thiago Motta; I've rarely seen such a powerful connection between two midfielders," he said.

"(Rabiot) is amazing in every one of his appearances. I don't think it will be long before he earns a call-up to the France squad.

"(Marquinhos) was remarkable when he stepped in after Thiago Silva got injured. Right from the get-go, he was impeccable, to the point that he received his first call-up to the Brazil squad."

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Ligue 1 table

# Team MP D P
1 19 +21 41
2 19 +23 39
3 19 +19 38
4 19 +10 36
5 19 +5 32

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