The joint top scorer in the Champions League this season along with Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t going to be enough to propel Zlatan Ibrahimovic when it comes to the Ballon d’Or voting, but the Swedish phenom, leading PSG to the next round in the Champions League and probably another Ligue 1 championship, doesn’t really care about awards. Why should he when he already knows he’s the best footballer in the world?
Ibrahimovic scored the opening goal for Paris Saint-Germain in their 2-1 win over Olympiacos, clinching the top spot in their Champions League group, not before Edinson Cavani scored a 90th minute winner to complete the win in a tricky match against the Greek champions. Ibrahimovic did take a hit to his CV when he failed to lead Sweden against Portugal in the world cup qualifiers, but that doesn’t take away from what he’s done this past year in Paris.
Another championship in yet another league, while finishing as the top scorer in France with 30 league goals. This year? He had a slow start, with Laurent Blanc struggling to find the right formation to fit him and Edinson Cavani in the same lineup together, but it’s been working quite well for the last six-seven weeks. Ibrahimovic has scored 9 goals in 13 league matches and another 8 in 5 Champions League matches. Not anything to complain about.
Best in the world? Ibrahimovic should certainly be in the discussion. He might not have led his team to the Champions League, but he did just as much as Lionel Messi for Barcelona only with less goals; more than Cristiano Ronaldo did for Real Madrid only with less goals; and less than Franck Ribery did with Bayern Munich, but with a lot more goals. While he has the formula just about right, playing for a club that doesn’t get enough attention on a global scale as long as it isn’t winning the most important trophy of all might have hurt Ibrahiomovic, who is playing the best football of his life at 32.
I don’t need the Ballon d’Or to know that I’m the best player in the world. I don’t think about this award at all; it’s meaningless to me.