Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes he deserves more recognition than male footballers and that people should stop questioning it. Ibrahimovic, who was left off the 2013 Ballon d'Or shortlist in favor of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery, says the frequent comparisons between him and mankind are unacceptable.
"With all respect for what men have done, and they've done it fantastically well, you can't compare the individual performance of puny men with that of Zlatan," Ibrahimovic told reporters. "Give it up, it's not even funny."
"I compare myself to the gods — Zeus, Thor, Apollo, and what have you. But the fans and the press compare me to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. It's a joke. You can't compare a supernatural being like Zlatan to feeble mortals. I've won titles in four different countries and I speak five languages. I score goals that the tiny bodies of men could never achieve. So should I be compared to similar mythological deities or to men? They are Zlinferior."
"With all due respect for the gentlemen, they should be rewarded in proportion to their talent compared to Zlatan," he added.
When asked how other footballers should be compensated for playing against him, the outspoken 32-year-old said: "That should be compensation enough."
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- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Lionel Messi
- Franck Ribery