Beckham lauds Ibrahimovic as United star wins Swedish gong

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David Beckham paid tribute to former team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic, insisting the Manchester United striker is still one of the greatest players after the veteran was named Swedish Player of the Year yet again.

Former Sweden captain Ibrahimovic claimed the Golden Ball for the 10th consecutive year at a ceremony on Monday.

The 35-year-old, who retired from national team duty following Euro 2016 having amassed 62 goals in 116 appearances, has now won the gong 11 times as the country prepares to honour him with a statue outside Stockholm's Friends Arena.

And reflecting on Ibrahimovic's illustrious career, United icon Beckham - who played alongside the Swede at Paris Saint-Germain - lauded his winning mentality.

"His physique, his passion, his love for the game, hasn't changed," Beckham said in a pre-recorded video as reported by TV4Sport. 

"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.

"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."

As for Ibrahimovic, who has scored six goals in 11 Premier League matches in his first season at Old Trafford, he said after receiving his award: "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."