Zlatan Ibrahimovic has praised Lionel Messi, describing the Barcelona forward as the 'best in the world'.

Ibrahimovic spent a single season playing alongside Messi at the Nou Camp, and since his departure in 2010 has been accused of being bitter towards his former team-mates.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward reportedly laughed off Messi's record for scoring the most goals in a single year, apparently mocked him as being too short and seemingly accused him of wrecking his time at Barcelona.

The two players will come head to head this week when Argentina take on Sweden during interational friendly week, and Ibrahimovic had only kind words for Messi ahead of the game.

“I think Leo is a fantastic player. Individually, surely he is the best in the world,” Ibrahimovic told reporters today.

“It is needless for me to say. Many people agree and so he has won many awards in recent seasons.

When asked who he felt the better player was, the 31-year-old was surprisingly modest in his assessment.

He said: “Between him and I who is the better player? After what Leo has done in recent years, there is no debate.

“It will be fun and exciting to play against Leo this week.”

Ibrahimovic will be hoping to replicate his last international performance against major opposition when he lines up against Argentina in Solna on Wednesday. The Swede bagged four goals against England in November, the last of which being a stunning over-head kick from 40 yards.

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