Inter Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic won the Player of the Year award in Stockholms, Sweden on Monday to become the first ever to win the prize three times.

“Third time’s a charm,” the 27-year-old Ibrahimovic said at the Swedish football federation’s annual televised gala. “Now it feels like I have been written into the history books.”
A native of Malmo, Ibrahimovic has scored seven goals in 12 matches for Inter Milan. He also scored two goals for Sweden at the 2008 European Championship. Ibrahimovic, who has played for Juventus, Ajax and Malmo FF, also won the award for best forward and the honourable mention, selected by the public. That award was presented to him by Pele, who won his first World Cup in Stockholm in 1958.

Meanwhile, his former coach (Inter Milan) Roberto Mancini was named the Italian League’s manager of the year for 2007-08 by his colleagues on Monday. After guiding Inter to their third straight Serie A title in May, Mancini was let go in favour of Jose Mourinho for this season. The award presentation at Italy’s training camp in Coverciano gave Mancini a chance to meet Mourinho. The pair shook hands and hugged.
“I want to thank the coaches who voted for me and I also thank Inter’s players,” Mancini said. “Being here to receive this award on the 50th anniversary of Coverciano reminds me when I came here for the first time in 1979 with the Under-14 squad.”
Spanish media have speculated he could be called by Real Madrid if Bernd Schuster is fired.
“Me at Real Madrid? Who knows ... It’s a possibility that is gaining steam in Spain but which I don’t know anything about,” Mancini said. “It could be that I hope it’s true, but nothing is concrete right now.”


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