England skipper Steven Gerrard saluted a "world class performance" from four-goal Swedish captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic which meant his 100th cap ended in defeat in Stockholm.
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Ibrahimovic inspired Sweden to a 4-2 win in the inaugural match at the Friends Arena after England had led 2-1 at half-time through goals from Danny Welbeck and debutant Steven Caulker.
Gerrard rated Ibrahimovic's 25-yard overhead kick for the fourth goal as the best he has seen as England suffered their first defeat under Roy Hodgson in open play.
The Liverpool player said: "I have mixed emotions. Obviously I am very proud for myself, getting to 100 caps and really pleased with the lads for large parts of the game.
"I thought we controlled the game and did not look like losing it but sometimes you have to hold your hands up to an individual special performance.
"This was a world-class performance from a world-class player in Ibrahimovic. It (the fourth goal) is the best goal I have seen live.
"I think the best goal I have seen before that is Wayne Rooney's (against Manchester City).
"Everyone knows how special that was but this one tonight - an overhead kick from 25 yards when the ball is six feet in the air - only certain players can do that.
"He is a special player."
Gerrard added: "I congratulated him after that. He said some nice things about me before the game which was really nice.
"If I could return the compliment I would say that was one of the best individual performances I have seen.
"He is not everyone's Cup of tea but he is certainly mine."
Gerrard received rapturous applause from the home crowd in recognition of his 100 caps but is now focusing on helping England qualify for the next World Cup.
He said: "That was really touching. All the support I have had from you lads (in the media) my family, friends and people in the game has touched me.
"All eyes were on me and there was extra pressure and excitement.
"Now I am glad it is out of the way and I focus on getting us to the next World Cup. That is the big challenge."
Meanwhile Sweden coach Eirik Hamren summed up Ibrahimovic's final act by saying: "Sometimes, you think you are looking at a video game where you can do all these incredible things.
"The fourth goal is not possible."
Ibrahimovic said: "When I saw the long ball I saw the goalkeeper come out I was thinking should I go in the duel or should I wait for him to put it out?
"When he put it out I had it in my mind that I would try to score. It was a nice goal."
Hodgson said: "The fourth goal was the crowning glory.
"It is a wonderful goal. I would rather have seen it against someone else."
Hodgson was also impressed with Egland's players, particularly 17-year-old Raheem Sterling, who recovered from a tough baptism to produce a courageous display that suggests he has a bright future at this level.
"Raheem has to be very happy," said Hodgson.
"He had a difficult start. The first challenge on him was a very fierce one. It put him on the ground and winded him.
"But he came through that and got better and better. Towards the end he tired a little as one would expect but I have to be satisfied with what he did.
"He is not even 18, so it bodes well.
"He is a young man with a future. He is a young man with talent. Now he has to hone that talent in the Premier League with Liverpool."
There were other reasons to be cheerful too.
Carl Jenkinson and Wilfried Zaha were two more of Hodgson's six new boys.
Glen Johnson is establishing himself as first-choice right-back with more rounded performances than at any stage of his international career.
Hodgson was sufficiently buoyed to be able to dismiss genuine doubts over Joe Hart, who had another nervy evening.
"We are not bothered about Joe Hart," said Hodgson.
"He is a very good goalkeeper. We think we will have a lot of success with him in the goal even if tonight it wasn't maybe one of his best days, this happens in football."