Zlatan speaks on self-comparisons with Ronaldo & Messi
“If I am missing the Ballon d’Or? No, it’s the other way around. It’s missing me. Ronaldo and Messi? If we talk about intrinsic qualities, I have nothing less than them.”
There is something to be said about the required amount of confidence necessary for footballers – or any professional athlete – to reach the highest level of their respective sport. But, as usual, Zlatan Ibrahimović ceases to amaze us with what has become a historic habit across his career when he analyzes his stature in the European game.
The Swedish icon has once again talked up his unquestionable talent, but this time has made mention that he feels he is at the very pinnacle of the sport, alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, when speaking in the latest issue of France Football.
Zlatan remarked further when it came to the Ballon d’Or – an award which he has yet to win – which has been entirely dominated by Ronaldo and Messi during their other-worldly careers. But for the Malmö-native, he is not as concerned;
“If, on the other hand, we consider trophies then yes, I didn’t win the Champions League, but I don’t know on what basis the award [Ballon d’Or] is assigned, and I’m not obsessed with it.”
The importance of a team game and the futile nature of comparisons
For all his self-centered temperaments that have been a hallmark of his own impressive career, the mercurial AC Milan center forward reflected on the importance of a strong team game, but still backed himself confidently as the best player in the world;
“When the collective works the individual benefits: the individual cannot be good if the team is not good. Deep down I think I’m the best in the world.”
However, Zlatan did shoot down any notion that comparing players across different eras had any intrinsic value, including himself;
“Confrontations with football greats? I don’t think it is relevant. Everyone has played in his own generation with different teammates. Making comparisons becomes complicated. I think everyone has their own story.”