Football

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of me in terms of trophies not abilities

UEFA has launched an investigation into allegations Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a financial interest in a betting company.

AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic claims he is “the best player in the world” – insisting Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are ahead of him in terms of silverware but not ability.

Messi and Ronaldo who are widely regarded as the best on the planet have carved up 11 of the last 12 Ballon d’Or awards between them, with the Argentine leading on six while his Portuguese counterpart is one behind him.

Ibrahimovic has never won the prize, despite having been nominated 11 times – but says: “If anything it’s the Ballon d’Or that is missing me.”

The Swede believes he is the best in the world, saying he has just as much quality as Ronaldo or Messi.

“If we are talking about intrinsic quality, then they have nothing more than me,” Ibrahimovic told a press conference, cited by Football Italia.

“If we consider trophies, then yes, I didn’t win the Champions League.”

Asked about the Ballon d’Or, Ibrahimovic said: “I don’t know what criteria they use to decide who gets the award, because I am not obsessed with it.

“When a collective works, the individual inevitably benefits from that. An individual cannot do well if the team isn’t solid.

“Deep down, I do think that I am the best in the world.”

Ibrahimovic is set to make his first appearance of the season for AC Milan against Lazio on Sunday, having recovered from a knee injury that kept him out of Euro 2020.

He turns 40 next month but is still going strong, and signed a new contract earlier this year which will keep him at San Siro until the end of the current season.

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