Football News

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he’s never been considered for the Ballon d’Or because he’s not “Mr Nice Guy”

By Ben Green

Published: 18:15, 27 March 2022 | Updated: 23:33, 24 November 2022

Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes his outspoken and flamboyant personality have held him back when being seriously considered for the Ballon d’Or, an award he considers “politically’ motivated.

The mercurial Swedish legend is unquestionably considered one of modern football’s greatest-ever strikers, turning out for some of the game’s biggest clubs, including Juventus, Barcelona, Manchester United, Ajax, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.

Across a trophy-laden career that has spanned beyond two decades, the 40-year-old has scored a staggering 510 goals, mopping up individual accolades and silverware aplenty, but the Ballon d’Or has eluded his grasp in an era dominated by two superstars.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo formed an unbreakable duopoly on football’s most-coveted individual accolade for a decade, with their stranglehold, which started in 2008, finally coming to an end when Luka Modric sealed the gong in 2018.

Ibrahimovic, for his own efforts, has never placed in the top three, meaning that even in a world without Messi and Ronaldo, he never would have won the award, coming closest in 2013 after placing fourth, behind Ronaldo, Messi and Franck Ribery.

Despite this, Ibrahimovic says he has no burning desire to win the Ballon d’Or because the makers and shakers want a “Mr Perfect” poster boy, which he admits is not his style.

He told Bild: “These are political awards. They want ‘Mr Perfect’.

“If you speak and say what you think you can’t get them.

Bet £10, Get £20 in Free Bets T&Cs apply

18+, UK only. Deposit and place a minimum £10 cash bet at single or accumulated odds of 1/1 or greater and we will give you 1 x £5 in free bets plus an extra 3 x £5 Free Bets the following day. Applies to first cash bet only. Free bets credited as 4 x £5 bets to use on 3x Any sport & 1x Virtuals. Cashed Out, Void or Draw No Bet wagers do not qualify for this promotion. 1 x £5 Free Bets are credited upon qualifying first bet settlement, other free bets credited by midday the day after your first bet settles. 7-day free bet expiry. Available once per customer. This offer cannot be combined with any other promotion. Full T&C’s apply.

18+ only. New UK customers only. T&Cs apply.

Claim Here
Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets T&Cs apply

18+ only. Use code BET30. New Players Only. Minimum stake $/€/£ 10, minimum odds1.5, stake not returned.1X wagering the winnings from the free bet. Wagering occurs from real balance first. Wagering requirement is calculated on bonus bets only, wagering starts from real funds. Free bet is valid for 7 Days from issue. Max conversion: $/€/£ 200. Excluded Skrill deposits. Withdrawal requests voids all active/pending bonuses. Full Terms Apply

18+ only. New customers only. T&Cs apply.

Claim Here
£20 in free bets when you place a £10 bet T&Cs apply

18+ only. £10 min. deposit required. 1 x £10 qualifying bet required. Qualifying bet must be placed on selection with min. odds of 1.8 (4/5). 4 x £5 Free Bets will be credited once the qualifying bet has been settled. 1 x Free Bet valid for any Football Match Result market. 1 x Free Bet valid on any Football Correct Score market. 1 x Free Bet valid on any Horse Racing market. 1 x Free Bet valid on any Tennis market. Free Bets valid for 7 days once credited. T&Cs apply.

18+ only. New customers only. T&Cs apply.

Claim Here

“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 has seen his talents take him from Malmo to Milan, to Manchester and even a stateside sojourn for MLS giants LA Galaxy, but despite his globe-trotting predilection, he is yet to appear in the Bundesliga, the last of Europe’s top five leagues that he is yet to conquer.

He added: “I have always been curious about the Bundesliga. There is a team like Bayern Munich, they are an incredible club.

“Every time I played against them I could always see their facilities, the stadium, their organisation. The history of the club is impressive.”