Paris Saint Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed he hopes Santa Claus wins the Ballon d'Or rather than the three high-profile contenders for the prize.
The Sweden international was touted as a potential winner of the prize himself before Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery were named on a three-man shortlist for the award, which will be presented to the winner on January 13.
Speaking to the press in Doha, Ibrahimovic joked: “The Ballon d’Or? For me, the three deserve to win it, but the one who must have it is Santa Claus.”
Ibrahimovic will come up against Ronaldo on Thursday as Paris Saint-Germain play Real Madrid in a exhibition match in Qatar and the 32-year-old spoke about his plans for the future with les Parisiens.
He said: “Yes, it’s an option for me to finish in Paris and we’ll see what happens in the future.
“I’m never fully satisfied. The team progresses, the club has made a leap in a short time, but we must continue to work. We have great qualities and I am optimistic for the future,” he added.
Thursday’s friendly will see Blancos coach Carlo Ancelotti face his former club, but the Swede said he was looking forward to seeing his old coach.
“We’ll see Carlo Ancelotti, who was at the initiative of the new Parisian project and he left his mark. He pulled the group and the club up. He is a great coach, and I was happy to work with him at Paris and I wish him the best in Madrid.”