Three Lions legend David Beckham has hailed Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the player won Sweden Golden Ball award for the 11th time.

Beckham used to be Ibrahimovic’s teammate when he moved to the French side after his time in the Major League Soccer playing for Los Angeles Galaxy. Both players won the French Ligue 1 together before Beckham retired after just a year.

The Manchester United striker has won the entire Best Swedish player award since 2005, except the 2006. The country is set to honour him by placing his statue outside the Friends Arena – Sweden’s national stadium
“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,” Beckham said.

Ibrahimovic said the honour felt “unreal” whilst accepting the award. He goes on to say the honour makes he feel his efforts for the national team for 15 years and his 20-year club career are being appreciated.

“You usually get this (the statue) after you die, but I still feel alive. When I die, this will live on forever,” Ibrahimovic said.

So far, the Red Devils talisman has scored six Premier League goals. Beckham named the goal Ibrahimovic scored for Sweden against England in 2012 as his best goal of the former Swede captain. Ibrahimovic scored a 30-yard overhead kick in their 4-2 victory over England.

Beckham added further accolades, saying the player always wanted to win. He said from their time together in France that during French League games and even in trainings, Ibrahimovic wanted to always win, and that he was always upset when he lost.