The captain impressed Manchester United fans with a commanding performance against Feyenoord on Thursday night, picking up a goal and an assist to wrap up a convincing 4-0 win.
Rooney’s goal – a cooly taken chip in the 35th minute – secured the Englishman’s place as Man United’s all-time leading European goalscorer.
Ibrahimovic, speaking after the game, was quick to shower praise on the 31-year-old.
“First of all as a person he is fantastic. I have [had] the luck to get to know him as a person,” he said.
“As a player, there are no words to say about him because he is the perfect player.
“Everyone knows what he can do and what he has done so I am happy for him that he broke the record.
“When you are a person like that, people are interested and want to know everything. I don’t know what happened – I didn’t even ask him because it’s not important for me.”
Rooney’s performance against Feyenoord was evocative of a happier time in the Englishman’s career. He was faster, more clinical, more energetic, and angry. Angry in the old-fashioned Rooney way, where pent up fury would manifest itself through a rip-roaring performance, as opposed to the current form of angry Rooney, which essentially consists of him shouting expletives at the referee.
The captain clearly felt as if he had a point to prove. This game, you could tell, was significant. Whether such a change of attitude came as a result of recent tabloid noise surrounding his drunken antics is unknown. The prospect of being within touching distance of history – both with the European goalscoring record and all-time goalscoring record – could have also been a motivating factor.
Either way, United fans will hope to see this Rooney more often this season.