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.
Ronaldo will make his hotly-anticipated second debut for Manchester United on Saturday, while Messi also made a huge move this summer when he joined PSG after leaving Barcelona.
The two players widely regarded as the best on the planet have carved up 11 of the last 12 Ballon d’Or awards between them, with Messi leading on six while Ronaldo 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.”
Never short on confidence, he believes he is the best in the world, saying he has just as much quality as Ronaldo or Messi.
“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 which 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.