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Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Wayne Rooney deserves more respect and is 'perfect player'

Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic (left) celebrates with Wayne Rooney after scoring his side's third goal during the Premier League match v Swansea
Image: Zlatan Ibrahimovic feels Wayne Rooney deserves more respect for his goalscoring feats with Manchester United and England

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney deserves more respect and has described him as "the perfect player".

Rooney's goal in the 4-0 Europa League win over Feyenoord on Thursday night was his 39th in continental competitions for United, a tally that saw him eclipse Ruud van Nistelrooy as the leading marksman in European games, and it also leaves him just one behind Sir Bobby Charlton's all-time haul of 249.

His latest effort came just five days after he vowed he was "not finished yet" as an England international following the publication of images of the 31-year-old in the team hotel bar late at night.

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has refused to comment on Wayne Rooney's behaviour whilst on international duty with England

Ibrahimovic says he is "used to" similar treatment in Sweden but feels Rooney deserves to be more respected for his goalscoring feats at club and international level.

Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney (R) celebrates after Manchester United's Spanish midfielder Juan Mata
Image: Rooney scored his 39th European goal for United against Feyenoord

"I think when you're a person like that, when you're famous like that, people are interested, they want to know everything," he said.

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"I don't know what has happened, I didn't even ask him because it's not important for me and I'm 100 per cent sure the media doesn't know what really happened.

"I think we should appreciate him for the player he is, what he did. I don't see many players from England who have had the same career as him. I feel a little bit sorry of the situation because we should show more respect for him.

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"Everybody wants to make a little thing a big thing. I'm used to it from Sweden, I don't mind it."

It was the Swede who teed up Rooney for his record-breaking effort in the first half with a weighted pass into the area.

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The two have rarely been seen in tandem with Rooney struggling to hold down a regular first-team place, but Ibrahimovic has assured him that he will do all he can to ensure United soon have a new name at the top of their all-time scorers.

"As a person he's fantastic, I have the luck to get to know the person," Ibrahimovic added of Rooney.

"As a player, there are no words to not say about him - he's the perfect player. Everybody knows what he can do, what he did, what he has done. I'm happy for him to break the record and I will help him to go one more - then I see it as the real record."

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