‘Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a great champion and professional… for me it’s normal that he can do those things at 38’: Romelu Lukaku hails his former Manchester United team-mate ahead of Inter Milan’s derby with AC Milan

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a ‘great champion and professional’, according to his former Manchester United team-mate Romelu Lukaku.

The two strikers will face off in the Milan derby on Sunday and Lukaku has claimed he learned important lessons from the Swede during their time at Old Trafford.

‘Ibra is a champion, I respect him,’ he told Tiki Taka.

Romelu Lukaku hails Zlatan Ibrahimovic ahead of Inter Milan’s derby with AC Milan

Romelu Lukaku (left) has hailed his former Manchester United team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic

‘In Manchester I could train every day with him, that was the most beautiful thing for me.

‘It will be nice to play against him. He is a great champion and professional.’

Lukaku has been instrumental in Inter’s title challenge with the striker scoring 16 goals in Serie A since his summer move from United.

But Ibrahimovic has two goals in five games after sealing his transfer from LA Galaxy to AC Milan in January and is proving he can still play at the highest level.

Romelu Lukaku hails Zlatan Ibrahimovic ahead of Inter Milan’s derby with AC Milan

Lukaku has flourished at Inter – scoring 16 goals in Serie A so far as they challenge for the title

‘For me it’s normal that he can do those things at the age of 38,’ Lukaku explained.

‘He works a lot; he always gave me advice when we played together in Manchester.’

Inter defeated their rivals 2-0 in the last Milan derby in September with Lukaku sealing the victory in the 78th minute.

Antonio Conte’s side are looking to close the gap on league leaders Juventus who they trail by three points.

Romelu Lukaku hails Zlatan Ibrahimovic ahead of Inter Milan’s derby with AC Milan

Ibrahimovic has settled well at AC too, scoring twice in five Serie A games since re-joining

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