Zlatan Ibrahimovic honoured with statue outside Sweden's national stadium
Sweden's record goalscorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic is to be immortalised with his own statue outside the national stadium, Friends Arena, in Solna.
The Swedish FA (SvFF) announced the news at the end of season football awards gala where Zlatan Ibrahimovic won the Golden Ball award for the country's best male player for the tenth consecutive year.
"The guy from Rosengård gets his own statue in the capital of Sweden. You usually get this when you die, but I still feel alive. When I die, this (statue) will live on forever," Ibrahimovic said as he accepted his award for a record 11th time.
The 35-year-old Manchester United forward, who retired from international football after Euro 2016 in the summer, is Sweden's all-time leading scorer with 62 goals.
"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."
The 2.7 metre statue outside the Friends Arena is being sculptured by artist Peter Linde, who told Radio Sweden that he had kept the project secret for over a year.
Zlatan did once say that if they replaced the Eiffel Tower with a statue of him then he'd remain at Paris Saint-Germain.
The Diamond Ball for the best female player went to Chelsea goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl, who won the award for the second year running thanks to her heroics in Sweden's silver medal-winning team at the Rio Olympics.