Last night Ibrahimović won the Swedish footballer of the year award for the eleventh time, and has certainly certified himself as a Swedish football legend, but David Beckham has claimed that his former PSG teammate Zlatan Ibrahimović is not only one of the best Swedish players ever, but one of the best players ever.
Beckham linked up with Ibrahimović for a short period when he ended his career with a six month spell at PSG, and this time the duo spent together has left Beckham a fan of the Swede, and the way that he looks after himself. Beckham also said that he was “happy” that his friend is now playing at his former club Manchester United.
“His physique, his passion, his love for the game, hasn’t changed. He’s still one of the greatest players that has ever played the game – one of the reasons why I’m happy he is now playing at Manchester United, my team. Thanks for that, Zlatan.”
Although United have been inconsistent this season, Beckham believes that Ibrahimović has a winning mentality and won’t accept defeat, so he should be able to turn United’s fortunes around this season. Beckham also recalled how Ibrahimović has childlike qualities in the way that he would get angry and upset if he lost a match.
“For me, Zlatan is a player who has class, always wants to win, and he proved that when I moved to PSG. He was one of those players that it doesn’t matter whether we were playing an important match in the French league, or on the training field, he wanted to win. If he wasn’t winning, he was like one of my children. He would get upset, he would get angry, he would lose it. Not that my kids lose it, but Zlatan does. For me he is a winner.”
After Ibrahimović won the award it was announced that a statue of his likeness would be built outside the Friend Arena in Stockholm in Sweden to commemorate and celebrate Ibrahimović’s career. Upon winning the award and the announcement of the statue he said:
“It feels unreal. Many are thinking ‘Why him?’ and so on, but after all the hard work over 15 years in the national team and 20 years in my club career, it feels like it’s being appreciated. You usually get this after you die, but I still feel alive. When I die, this (statue) will live on forever.”
Ibrahimović has had an absolutely fantastic career, winning trophies in England, Spain, Italy, Holland, Sweden and France. He is a maverick, and unlike any other player in the current generation. Ibrahimović is an idol to many, and his goal scoring record, as well as his incredible trophy haul will undoubtedly see him go down in history as one of the all-time greats, just as Beckham claims. Ibrahimović has scored six Premier League goals so far, this season, and will be hoping to build on this number, now that his one game suspension has been served, so he will likely return to Jose Mourinho’s starting XI against Feyenoord on Thursday