Zlatan Ibrahimovic insisted he does not need to win the Ballon d’Or to prove the AC Milan star is the best.
Ibrahimovic has won league titles with Ajax, Inter, Barcelona, Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United, though the Swedish forward has never claimed the Ballon d’Or.
The evergreen 40-year-old continues to produce for Milan in his second spell at San Siro, where the Rossoneri are dreaming of their first Scudetto since Ibrahimovic helped deliver silverware in 2010-11.
Ibrahimovic’s outspoken agent Mino Raiola said he cannot take the Ballon d’Or seriously due to the fact the Sweden international has never received the prized individual honour.
But during a presentation for his new book “Adrenaline” in Milan on Sunday, Ibrahimovic was quoted as saying: “The Ballon d’Or is a nice thing. But I don’t need it to prove that I am the best.”
The event took place after Ibrahimovic scored his 300th league goal across Europe’s top five leagues in Saturday’s last-gasp 1-1 Serie A draw at Udinese.
Ibrahimovic came to Milan’s rescue in spectacular fashion, his stoppage-time equaliser salvaging a point for the Rossoneri in what was his 450th appearance in the top five leagues – the Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A, LaLiga and Ligue 1.
Only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have reached that mark previously in the 21st century.
“It’s the mentality. I train in the same way that I play,” Ibrahimovic said of his longevity.
“Every day is a final. It was difficult when I arrived at Milan [for his second spell], but we’ve created a group. We’ve created an atmosphere that is over the top.
“Then there was the pandemic, but the staff here is great. I’ve worked with other teams in my career, but this is really excellent. The group goes towards the same target. Unfortunately, we didn’t win yesterday. I should have scored two goals.
“Now, I wake up with pain every day, but I have adrenaline and I go on. This year, the adrenaline is for the Scudetto. Yesterday I scored a goal, but we didn’t win and it hurts.”