Ibrahimovic stresses Beckham's importance to PSG ahead of Barca clash
April 10, 2013
By Stefan Coerts, Goal.com editor.
The powerful attacker has hailed the former Manchester United midfielder's influence and has admitted the 37-year-old's arrival has benefited him personally.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has taken the time to praise Paris Saint-Germain team-mate David Beckham ahead of the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie against Barcelona on Wednesday.
The Englishman has received his fair share of criticism since his winter move to the Ligue 1 leaders but Ibrahimovic has insisted that Beckham is a key figure for PSG.
"I think he has been very important for us. Because in the situation that we are in now, the club has been changing from a normal club to a top club, and Beckham gives you some kind of confidence," the Swedish striker told CNN.
"He has the responsibility, on the pitch and off the pitch, to lead the way for these two months which is very important.
"He has a quality, a big quality; he has a touch that I haven't seen many players have. And he is very elegant when he plays."
The Sweden international then went on to voice his opinion that Beckham's arrival not only benefits PSG but that it is a good thing for him personally, too.
"I think it's good for me that Beckham came so he gets more attention than me, so they leave me a little bit alone," he added.
"When I came here everybody said 'don't worry, as a football player you can walk in the city and nobody will disturb you. Because as a football player here it is not like it is in Italy'.
"But since the day I came here it's been totally stressful. Everybody is chasing me with their scooters; I don't even walk in the streets. When David came he got more of the media attraction, so that's good because he takes care of that and I can play football, focus on football."