Ligue 1: Franz Beckenbauer believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic could win the Ballon d'Or
Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be a serious candidate for this year's Ballon d'Or.
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 25/10/13 5:53pm
The Swedish striker is currently a 40/1 outsider in Sky Bet's market for the coveted award, behind favourites Lionel Messi (10/11) and Franck Ribery (11/4).
But the PSG hot-shot impressed in notching four goals in his side's 5-0 UEFA Champions League thrashing of Anderlecht in midweek and Beckenbauer - who twice lifted the Ballon d'Or in 1972 and 1976 - definitely thinks he has a chance.
Beckenbauer told L'Equipe: "I have a soft spot for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He scores a lot of goals, but moreover they are all amazingly beautiful.
"He is among the three best forwards in the world, there is no question about it.
"Perhaps will he make a surprise for the Ballon d'Or, who knows? He would deserve it. However I believe Ribery remains top favourite."
The 1991 Ballon d'Or winner Jean-Pierre Papin is also impressed by the Parisian forward.
"Ballon d'Or? Since Wednesday's match it is possible. He impressed everyone with goals that got people's attention," he told L'Equipe.
"Marco van Basten got the 1992 Ballon d'Or after twice scoring four goals in one week with AC Milan against Gothenburg and Napoli."