Zlatan Ibrahimovic says that he has never won the Ballon d’Or because he speaks his mind, and doesn’t fit the perfect mould that other players do.
The 40-year-old striker, who is currently playing in Italy at AC Milan, has said that he has been ignored by France Football - the French magazine which has presented the award for over six decades - because he is outspoken about his thoughts and views.
“These are political awards. They want ‘Mr Perfect’,” he said.
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“If you speak and say what you think you can’t get them. It’s easy to give them to Mr Nice Guy. It doesn’t change anything for me, it doesn’t make me better or worse.”
Ibrahimovic, who has picked up major honours in Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France and England, is known for his outspoken personality, brash comments, and lack of caring what other people think.
Despite the fact that he believes he was worthy of the award at least once during his career, he has never finished within the top three of the Ballon d'Or vote..
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His highest finish came in 2013 during his stint at Paris Saint-Germain, where he finished fourth behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Frank Ribery. Ibrahimovic won 5.29% of the voting that year.
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ballon D'Or 2015
Image credit: Getty Images
For over six decades, France Football, an illustrious French magazine has presented the award. It is voted by football journalists, as well as coaches and captains of national team sides.
Ronaldo and Messi have a combined 12 wins, with the former winning five times, and the latter winning a record seven, his most recent being last year. The only other player to win it since 2008 has been Luka Modric, who collected the award in 2018.
Despite never picking up his own Ballon d’Or, Ibrahimovic told BILD that he knows that football fans across the world will never see a player like him again once he retires.
“I think the greatest sadness will be yours, as you won’t get to watch me play anymore."
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