Messi deserves the Ballon d'Or, says Ibrahimovic

Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are thought to be the front-runners for the coveted award, for which Andres Iniesta is also a finalist, but Ibrahimovic believes that the Argentina international is the clear favorite. Should Messi win, it would be his fourth award in a row.

"Messi is the best player in the world, he deserves the Ballon d'Or," Ibrahimovic told BeIn Sport. "I know he's won it several times, but it is deserved. He plays like he's on PlayStation, it's unbelievable. People who say otherwise either don't know anything about football or are just talking nonsense."

Ibrahimovic also heaped praise upon former Real Madrid midfielder Zinedine Zidane, and says that he aims to have the same positive impact on his team as the legendary French playmaker used to.

"When Zidane stepped onto the pitch, the 10 other guys just got suddenly better. It is that simple," Ibrahimovic said. "It was magic. He was a unique player. He was more than good, he came from another planet. His teammates became like him when he was on the pitch. A player that makes the difference is a player that makes the others better.

"I don't know if we will see others like him. That's my mentality. Make the others better. Because if they are better, I too will be better."