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Zlatan Ibrahimovic 'one of the best players in the world', says Antonio Conte

Manchester United's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Sunderl
Image: Antonio Conte was full of praise for Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his Friday press conference

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has insisted Zlatan Ibrahimovic is 'one of the best players in the world' ahead of his side's trip to face Manchester United, live on Nissan Super Sunday.

The Blues travel to Old Trafford looking for a victory which would put them within touching distance of the league title.

Ibrahimovic has notched 17 goals for fifth-place United in his maiden Premier League campaign, with the 35-year-old recently declaring himself Benjamin Button.

Conte admitted on Friday that he agrees with the former Sweden international, though he stopped short of saying he would get into the Chelsea side.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United (C) celebrates with team-mates as he scores their second goal during the Premier League match at Leicester City
Image: Ibrahimovic has scored 17 Premier League goals in his first season in England

"No, no no no [in response to if any United players would get in the Chelsea team?]. It's not a good question this because I think in football, my players are the best in the world and this must be so," said Conte.

"For sure at United there are a lot of great players, top players, but they are United players and I keep my players and I'm very happy to do this.

"Yeah I agree [Ibrahimovic is Benjamin Button], but I always said this. I think now Zlatan is in the top form of his career because I think now he's a great player.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring the 17th hat-trick of his career on Thursday
Image: The 35-year-old has been essential for United this season, scoring 28 goals in all competitions

"He's not only a finisher, he plays for the team, it's good to have this type of player because he's very good to play for the team.

"For me he's one of the best players in the world, Zlatan."

Conte went on to explain how Chelsea will approach the game on Sunday and how they will deal with the threat of Ibrahimovic.

Antonio Conte on the touchline during the Premier League match against Arsenal
Image: Conte's Chelsea travel to Old Trafford on Sunday and he's admitted his players must concentrate to stop the Swede

"We must have a good defensive organisation and pay attention because when he [Ibrahimovic] attacks the box he's very dangerous, and also when he receives the ball, he's dangerous," Conte said.

"He's a dangerous player! And for this reason I think my players must have great concentration, but also to stop the whole team, not just one player."

A fiery first half saw Antonio Conte confront Jose Mourinho following a challenge on Marcos Alonso from Antonio Valencia
Image: Conte clashed with United boss Jose Mourinho in the reverse fixture back in October

Chelsea currently sit top of the table with a seven point cushion separating them from nearest rivals Tottenham.

United meanwhile are four points behind fourth-placed neighbours Manchester City in the race for Champions League qualification.

Manchester United face Chelsea live on Sky Sports 1HD from 3.30pm on Easter Sunday.

New NOW TV customers: Grab a Sky Sports Month Pass and watch the race for silverware hot up, kicking off this Easter Sunday with Man United v Chelsea. All for just £25.

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