Zlatan Ibrahimovic: “I don’t need the Ballon d’Or to know I’m the best”

Dirty Tackle

We have now reached the point where Zlatan Ibrahimovic is literally writing his own headlines.

The mighty Swedish striker has been in Zlat-tastic form this season, scoring 17 goals in 18 matches for Paris Saint-Germain. On Wednesday evening, his eighth Champions League goal of the season helped defeat Olympiacos and secure the Ligue 1's side's berth in the Round of 16. It also equalled the goalscoring record for the group stage, an honour he currently shares with Cristiano Ronaldo.

For his Zlincredible efforts in 2013, the supremely confident Swede has earned a place on the Ballon d'Or 23-man shortlist. Ibra, however, is not expected to make the final three nominees list when it is announced in December, as Ronaldo, Leo Messi and Franck Ribery are assumed to be leading the pack.

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But Zlatan doesn't need formal recognition as the greatest player in the world to know he is the greatest player in the world. Speaking after the Olympiacos victory, PSG's number ten maintained the arrogance schtick that is now becoming self-parody:

"It seems very important for other players, but for me it's not important. I know what I feel about myself and I know what I think about myself, that is most important. I don't need a trophy to tell myself that I'm the best."

If he doesn't need formal recognition from his peers and the industry, what does he need to know he's all that? Limited-edition Xbox Ones? His own range of postage stamps? A best-selling iPhone App?

Nope — just a little voice in his head constantly telling him he is the greatest thing since Zliced bread. After all, Nicklas Bendtner has the same little voice, and it's clearly helping him dominate the world football landscape.

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Ryan Bailey is a writer for Dirty Tackle on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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