Zlatan fick sin nionde guldboll. Foto: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
Zlatan Ibrahimovic with his ninth "golden ball" (name of the Player of the Year award). Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Zlatan Player of the Year for 9th time

For the eight consecutive year, and the ninth year overall, Zlatan Ibrahimovic picked up the Player of the Year award of Swedish football on Monday night.

The 33-year-old was given a standing ovation at the ceremony. During the past year, he has won the league with his team Paris Saint Germain, but also scored a new record for the national team, with his 50 goals for Sweden.

Last year, at the ceremony, he said "There may be people who are tired of seeing me getting up and receiving awards, but I have more to collect, so see you next year."

At the press conference this year, after the ceremony, he said it is not over yet.

"I hope to come back next year and tick the tenth box, just like my father is waiting for. Then his trophy room is done and we can move on."

But in no way it means that he is thinking of retiring after that. "I want to do more, a lot more," he told reporters.

"As long as I am playing, I am playing to win. I play to be the best and to win the awards that there are to win. I have been lucky that I have been able to do that."

The atmosphere turned sombre when "Ibra" in his receptions speech chose to honour the former midfielder Klas Ingesson and the former Brommapojkarna defender Pontus Segerström, who both lost their lives to cancer this year. It turns out Zlatan Ibrahimovic's own brother Sapko, passed away from the disease in April.

"All these awards that I've received, it means that I've achieved something; and that I'm good at what I'm doing but it's overshadowed by what happened to Klas Ingesson and Pontus Segerström," he said from the stage.

"There is a life alongside, that is much more important than this. You have to enjoy life and make the most of it, because things can turn around quickly," he told reporters afterwards.

Also honoured at the ceremony on Monday evening, was Lotta Schelin, who won the "diamond ball", awarded the best female football player of the year. This is the fifth time she gets the award, and the fourth consecutive year.

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