Zlatan Ibrahimovic hails Wayne Rooney after breaking Manchester United record

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 watched Wayne Rooney break the Manchester United goalscoring record on Sunday

Zlatan Ibrahimovic cannot understand why record-breaking Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney is so unappreciated and undervalued.

On Saturday, the 31-year-old broke United's all-time scoring record in sumptuous fashion, bending home an exceptional free-kick to secure a last-gasp 1-1 draw at Stoke.

Rooney was widely praised after notching his 250th United goal to move clear of Sir Bobby Charlton - just as he was when breaking the World Cup winner's England scoring record.

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Watch Rooney score his 250th goal for Manchester United

Yet despite such feats, the forward cannot shake off an undercurrent of antipathy from some and Ibrahimovic, widely appreciated as one of the finest strikers of his generation, struggles to understand why his team-mate is not cherished.

"He's a complete player," the Swede said. "Off the field he's a real leader and on the field he's just complete.

"He helps his team-mates well and has that big quality - he knows how to score goals, knows how to assist.

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"But he works very hard, he's got a good attitude and spirit. Everybody knows what Wayne is. But this country has to appreciate him.

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"I don't see any other strikers like him today. Give me some names. Tell me. And still you're not happy."

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Watch highlights of Stoke 1-1 Man Utd

Where Rooney will fit in the pantheon of United greats is up for debate, but Ibrahimovic pointed to giants of the past when underlining the enormity of what he has achieved.

"It's amazing," he said. "He's the top scorer of the club and I'm very happy for him.

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"It's a big thing you know - many great players have been here and his name is right on top.

"I'm very proud to have been on the same field as him when he did it and hopefully he can continue to do what he's doing."

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