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Impassioned Ibrahimovic attacks Rooney's critics

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has launched an impassioned defence of Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney, who he feels is underappreciated in England.

Rooney became United's all-time record goalscorer with a late free-kick equaliser in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Stoke City, passing Bobby Charlton to reach 250 goals for the club.

The 31-year-old also broke England's scoring record last season, but, despite his accomplishments, has come under pressure from the media and some supporters at club and international level over his apparent on-pitch decline.

Ibrahimovic, though, thinks there are still few who can rival United and England captain Rooney amid reports linking him with a move to China at the end of the season.

"Everybody knows what Wayne is, but this country has to appreciate him," Ibrahimovic told reporters.

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

"He is a complete player. It [the United record] is 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.

"It's amazing. He's the top scorer of the club and I'm very happy for him. 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. Hut he works very hard, he's got a good attitude and spirit." 

Rooney and Ibrahimovic are preparing for the second leg of United's EFL Cup semi-final, second leg at Hull City on Thursday, a tie they lead 2-0.


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