‘Ibrahimovic on the same level as Messi & Ronaldo’ – Swedish striker ‘one of the greatest’, says Mancini

The man currently in charge of the Italian national side worked with the enigmatic forward at Inter and considers him to sit alongside the very best

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is at “the same level” as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, says Roberto Mancini, with the former Inter boss considering the Swede to be “one of the greatest forwards of all time”.

Those qualities helped the Nerazzurri to two Serie A titles during Mancini’s reign at San Siro.

They have also been put to good use at various landing spots around the world, with Ibrahimovic having enjoyed success wherever he has been.

He has become a champion at Ajax, Juventus, Inter, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, while also claiming major silverware during a stint at Manchester United.

Across a remarkable club career, the 38-year-old has plundered 478 goals in 798 appearances.

He is still going strong back at Milan and has been showing no sign of slowing down.

Mancini told Sport Mediaset of Ibrahimovic, who he ranks alongside two all-time greats on the books at Barcelona and Juventus: “Zlatan will be remembered as one of the greatest forwards of all time.

“I put him on the same level as Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He won the league title wherever he went, scoring a ton of goals.

“He’s done well at Milan too this season, but I don’t know what his plans are for the future.”

Ibrahimovic has played with and against some of the finest talent the world has ever since, including Barca superstar Messi.

His time at Camp Nou did not go entirely to plan, with a working relationship breaking down with Pep Guardiola.

He returned to Italy as a result, and is now seeing Messi linked with a move in the same direction.

Former Inter preisdet Massimo Moratti has claimed that the Argentine may not be out of reach for Serie A giants, having previously tried to do a deal himself.

Mancini, who is now in charge of the Italian national side, said of those rumours: “If he [Moratti] had remained president of Inter, knowing him I think he would have tried, as he did with Ronaldo, who was one of the strongest strikers in the world, and he managed to bring him to the Inter.

“In the newspapers we read that Messi is not very happy, but maybe he will be happiest if he stays at Barcelona.”