Zlatan Ibrahimovic's run as Sweden's footballer of the year ends
Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist has ended Zlatan Ibrahimovic's decade-long streak of being named the country's footballer of the year.
Granqvist was awarded the Swedish football federation's Golden Ball on Monday night after helping the national team reach the World Cup by beating Italy in a playoff.
The award had gone to Ibrahimovic for the last 10 years in a row, but he lost out after missing the last six months with a serious knee injury.
"This is a great honour. I'm incredibly proud," Granqvist said. "It's the nicest award you can receive."
Ibrahimovic was still named forward of the year, and sent a video message from Manchester after his recent comeback with United.
"This means a lot," he said. "Individual awards come thanks to your teammates. It's the collective that makes things go well."
The reference to "the collective" was seen by some as a flirtation with Sweden coach Janne Andersson, who took the job after Ibrahimovic retired from international last year and led Sweden to the World Cup against the odds with a hard-working style that puts the focus squarely on teammwork.
There is speculation that Ibrahimovic wants to play at Russia 2018, although many also question whether he would fit in with Andersson's style of play.
Follow Mattias Karen on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.