Lionel Messi for Ballon d'Or? Zlatan Ibrahimovic Begs to Differ

Adrian AgiusAnalyst IDecember 2, 2012

MILAN, ITALY - MARCH 28:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan and Lionel Messi of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League quarter final first leg match between AC Milan and Barcelona at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on March 28, 2012 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

After making the list for the final three nominees for the prestigious Ballon D'or, Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is in prime position to take home his fourth successive award. Despite this, not all believe the Argentine is deserving of a fourth Ballon D'or, and if the decision fell to PSG forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the powerhouse forward would not hesitate to award it to somebody else.

In comments made to France's TF1's Telefoot program (via, Ibrahimovic made his opinion heard loud and clear, saying: "How many times has he [Messi] already won? Two, three? If the jury wants to be just a little more fair, they must give it to someone else this time."

Ibrahimovic was shortlisted when the final 23-man cut for the list was released. Despite this, he missed out on the final three losing out to Messi alongside Andres Iniesta and Cristiano Ronaldo. What is surprising to note however, is that despite his incredible ability, Ibrahimovic has never reached the final three in the race to be crowned the best footballer in the world. 

Last season, Ibrahmiovic netted 28 times for AC Milan in the Serie A. The Swede finished top goalscorer in the league and although made the final 23-man list for the Ballon D'or, tasted no success. This season, like last, he has continued on his scoring way. A total of 15 goals thus far for Paris Saint-Germain along with a bunch of goals for Sweden has well and truly answered Zlatan's critics.

Just last month, Ibrahimovic took the footballing world by storm when he scored with an audacious bicycle against England—in an international friendly. His goal went viral, overshadowing the fact that the former Barcelona man netted four that game.

During the 2009-10 season, both Messi and Ibrahimovic played alongside each other in a Barcelona squad that won practically every trophy possible, except the Champions League. Despite his success, Ibrahimovic cannot yet say he has tasted success in Europe's premier competition. However, with PSG assured a place in the Round of 16, 2012-13 could just be the year the forward tastes European success.