Paris Saint-Germain star Zlatan Ibrahimovic feels that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo remain the favourites to win the Ballon d'Or though he does not see it as a foregone conclusion that either the Barcelona attacker or his Real Madrid nemesis will scoop up the prestigious award.
The Sweden international believes that Franck Ribery has a good chance to win the award as well, following his successful year with Bayern Munich, but argues that it will be hard for voters to look past the Primera Division duo.
"Several players have a shot at winning the Ballon d'Or," Ibrahimovic told reporters.
"Ribery has had an amazing year and won everything there is to win. Then, there's Messi, who is pure talent and was born to do this – he's not a product of training. Ronaldo is also playing great.
"There are a fair few players performing at a high level though, from one week to the next, it's hard to look past Ronaldo and Messi."
For the moment, though, Ibrahimovic is focusing on his country's World Cup 2014 qualification play-off against Portugal, warning that Sweden face a tough task to make it to next year's tournament in Brazil.
"I see the tie as two finals and we have to play well in both," the 32-year-old mused.
"People shouldn't focus on two players – it's Sweden against Portugal. It's all about the team and we all have to perform to get a result."
Sweden travel to Lisbon for the first leg on Friday before hosting Portugal in Solna four days later.