Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic says it is an “unreal” feeling after it was revealed the Swedish Football Association have commissioned a statue to be built in his homeland.
Ibrahimovic, 35, retired from international football after Euro 2016 having scored 62 goals in 116 games for his country.
The news was announced as Ibrahimovic collected the Golden Ball award as Sweden’s Player of the Year for the 10th consecutive season, and the 11th time in the last 12.
He will be honoured with a 2.7 metre statue outside the national stadium, the Friends Arena in Stockholm.
“It feels unreal,” Ibrahimovic said of the statue at the awards ceremony. “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 will live on forever.”
Ibrahimovic was presented with the Golden Ball prize, as well as a miniature replica of the statue.
David Beckham, who played alongside Ibrahimovic at Paris Saint-Germain before he retired in 2013, said on Monday the striker is “still one of the greatest players that has ever played the game.”