Paris: Swedish football great Zlatan Ibrahimovic professed himself to be extremely proud to have his waxwork model unveiled at the Grevin Museum in central Paris on Monday.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic poses next to his wax statue. Pic/AFP
The 33-year-old striker -- who was honoured for his goalscoring exploits for champions Paris Saint Germain since he joined in 2012 -- is portrayed in a PSG shirt with his arms raised to the sky.
"It is really incredible to be here," beamed Ibrahimovic. "It is a huge honour. Don't forget to take plenty of photos of me!" added the charismatic Swede, who nevertheless appeared for once to be a little intimidated by the occasion and was far from the cheeky chappie he often is on and off the pitch.
The waxwork model of Ibrahimovic, who has played over 100 times for his national side, has been placed close to the player widely believed to be the greatest ever footballer Brazilian maestro Pele, France's multiple rally world champion Sebastien Loeb and another French sporting great Judoka Teddy Riner.
Among the dignitaries present to celebrate the occasion with the former AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus and Barcelona marksman was the Swedish Ambassador to France as well as PSG's Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi. Ibrahimovic -- whose statue took six months to complete -- was a unanimous choice by the Grevin Academy presided over by the journalist Stephane Bern, who saluted him for being a 'football icon'.
"We love your cheeky side which contributes to your legend," gushed Bern. Ibrahimovic did not go away empty-handed, though, instead of a match ball he is used to keeping after several hat-tricks he took with him a replica of a sculpture of his head created by Eric Saint Chaffray.