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By ESPN Staff
Sep 14, 2009

Barcelona star Xavi praises Ibrahimovic impact

Barcelona midfielder Xavi has praised the impact made by new striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Sweden international has scored twice since joining Barca from Inter Milan over the summer in a swap deal which involved Samuel Eto'o going the opposite way. But it is in the dressing room where Ibrahimovic has made the biggest impact, according to Spain midfielder Xavi.

He said: ''He is beginning an adventure that will last for five years. 'He has surprised me because he jokes a lot when I thought he would be more serious.

''Everyone said he was awkward but that is not the case. He is very likeable, he has adapted very well.''

Ibrahimovic makes a swift return to Inter this week as the two European giants lock horns in the Champions League. It will also see Inter coach and former Barca backroom staff member Jose Mourinho come up against his old employers and Xavi sees many similarities between the Portuguese and current Barca boss Pep Guardiola.

He added: ''I had three years with him (Mourinho) when he was an assistant to (Louis) Van Gaal and I learnt a lot. He is like Guardiola in that they are both obsessed by work.

''Perhaps Mourinho is more focused on defence while Pep is more romantic and wants to play well besides winning.''

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