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BARCELONA

Ibrahimovic praises 'one of a kind' Messi as 'Playstation' footballer

In an interview with ESPN, Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic lauded his former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi, with whom he played at the Camp Nou in the 2009-10 season Brazil-Argentina live

Ibrahimovic praises 'one of a kind' Messi as 'Playstation' footballer

Athletic Bilbao - Barcelona

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has hailed his former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi as “one of a kind” and a “Playstation” footballer.

In an exclusive interview with ESPN, Ibrahimovic talked about Messi, with whom he played at the Camp Nou in the 2009-10 season.

"One of a kind"

Messi and Ibrahimovic at Barcelona in 2010

"I think Messi is one of a kind. I don't know if we will see another player do the things that he does because he has his style and to become that player, I don't think it's possible," said Ibrahimovic. "I had the luck to see him every day, I said before, it's like playing PlayStation: You give the ball to the guy and you start to go through every player and that's who Messi is."

Unlike Messi, who has remained at Barcelona for his whole professional career, Ibrahimovic has played all over Europe, starting with Malmo in Sweden, in the Netherlands for Ajax, as well as Juventus and Inter in Italy. Following a season in Spain at Barcelona he returned to Serie A with Milan, before moving to France with PSG in 2012 and then finally ending up in Manchester this year.

While recognising they have taken different paths, Ibrahimovic says that Messi would be just as good away from Barcelona.

Messi "can do it anywhere"

"I think it's two different players in the way of styles and the way of playing," said Ibrahimovic. "I'm the one that went around and conquered different countries; he's the one who has stayed in one place for many years and has been amazing. If he can do it there, he can do it anywhere because he's that kind of player that loves football, he loves the game so much [that] he wouldn't have trouble performing like he is doing in Barcelona, worldwide.

"I think we should be appreciating -- especially in Argentina -- that they have a player like that and they should enjoy him while he's playing because he's a beautiful [player]."