Stockholm: Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been named Sweden`s footballer of the year for the ninth time and although his eighth victory in a row came as no shock, his acceptance speech showing a more sensitive side surprised many.
The normally cocky Ibrahimovic paid tribute to former Swedish international Klas Ingesson and Brommapojkarna defender Pontus Segerstrom, both of whom recently died of cancer, before turning to the death of his brother Sapko in April.
"I myself had a brother who died a few months ago from a similar illness," the Paris St Germain forward said as he struggled to control his emotions.
"There is a life (outside football) that is much more important than this."
Ibrahimovic claimed his first Gold Ball, awarded by the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) to Sweden`s best footballer each year, in 2005.
Fredrik Ljungberg of Arsenal won the prize the following year, but Ibrahimovic has claimed all eight since for his performances for Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, PSG and the national team.
No other player has won the award more than twice.