Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti says he has been blown away by the talents of striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Verratti joined PSG from Pescara last year and has helped Laurent Blanc's side to the summit, two points ahead of nearest rivals Monaco in Ligue 1, heading into the weekend's clash against Rennes.
And the 21-year-old believes that Ibrahimovic's ability to be pivotal and to attempt things out of the ordinary, citing his spectacular effort against Bastia as an example, separates the Sweden international from the rest.
"He is not only a champion, he is a genius of football. He invents things," Verratti told Le Parisien. "We know that Zlatan can change the course of a match at any point. Look at his backheeled goal against Bastia, maybe other players are capable, but only one person in the world thinks it."
Verratti also took the opportunity to quash rumors surrounding his potential return to Italy. The technically gifted midfielder extended his deal at the Parc des Princes in August to June 2018, but that has not stopped reports of a switch away from Paris.
However, Veratti has reiterated his desire to succeed in France as the club's goals match his aspirations.
He added: "I made a sporting choice by signing in Paris. In terms of football, I have everything I need here. There are great players and great ambitions."
Ibrahimovic's return of 13 goals this season sees him top the Ligue 1 scoring charts, two ahead of fellow PSG striker Edinson Cavani.