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Zlatan: I don't need Ballon d'Or to know I'm the best

28 November 2013, 17:14

Paris - Cristiano Ronaldo or Franck Ribery can have the Ballon d'Or, Zlatan Ibrahimovic does not need it.

The Swedish striker has been in superb form this year for Paris St Germain, scoring eight goals in this season's Champions League - as many as Real Madrid's Ronaldo - to help the French side ease into the last 16.

The Portugal forward, however, has emerged as favourite for the FIFA-Ballon d'Or award after netting a hat-trick for his country in a 3-2 defeat of Sweden in last week's World Cup playoff second leg, qualifying his country for the 2014 finals.

French winger Ribery helped Bayern Munich secure a treble last season and was early favourite for the award, won three times in a row by Barcelona's Lionel Messi, until Ronaldo garnered some late support for his performances with Portugal.

"I don't need the Ballon d'Or to know I'm the best," Ibrahimovic, who played a key role in PSG's Ligue 1 title triumph last season, told reporters on Wednesday.

"It matters more to some players."

Ibrahimovic scored his 39th Champions League goal on Wednesday as PSG won their group with a game to spare by beating Olympiakos 2-1 at the Parc des Princes.

No Swede has ever won the Ballon d'Or or the FIFA player of the year award but that statistic is unlikely to cause Ibrahimovic to lose any sleep.

"It's not something I think about and it is something that is not important for me," he said.

The former Barcelona and AC Milan striker showed how much of an asset he can be all over the pitch on Wednesday, taking on his share of defensive duties when PSG were reduced to 10 men following Marco Verratti's dismissal early in the second half.

"I was really tired," he said after being replaced by defender Marquinhos in the 79th minute.

"Helping the team defend or attack is my job. You have to think about the team first."

The French champions, who visit Benfica in the final group game next month, lead Ligue 1 on 34 points from 14 games ahead of Sunday's home game against Olympique Lyon.

- Reuters


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