The QPR midfielder feels there are stronger candidates for the prize, despite the Swedish striker's goalscoring exploits, while admitting his attitude towards Neymar is changing
The 31-year-old had an on-field altercation with the Paris Saint-Germain striker during his time in France, and says he shouldn't win the award, despite praising his obvious talent.
"No, he does not deserve the Ballon d'Or. He is not the best player in the world," said Barton, in an interview with RMC.
"I have no problem with Zlatan. This is a great player and an interesting personality. He is a great goalscorer, his story is remarkable and football needs players like him."
Barton also spoke about another current star of world football, Neymar, and admitted his opinion of the 21-year-old is beginning to change having earlier criticised the Brazilian on Twitter.
"I'm slowly changing my opinion about Neymar, but not completely. He has been compared to [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo, but he is not at their level," he said.
The QPR man also gave his thoughts on Marseille after a permanent move to the club failed to materialise following a loan spell in France last season.
"It was a really difficult situation last summer. I was under contract with QPR for another two years. The problem was a financial one," he continued.
"I felt when I first came to the the club that they really wanted me, but last summer I did not feel the same way. I no longer felt loved by the club like I am loved by the people of the city and the fans.
"I certainly have some regrets. I still watch OM matches and think if I could go back to the club as part of the staff I would like that very much."