Thiago Silva: Ibrahimovic playing better than Ronaldo, Messi

The Brazil defender is backing his Paris Saint-Germain teammate as the soccer community prepares to vote for the world's best player.

Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva says he "loves" Zlatan Ibrahimovic and believes he deserves to win the Ballon d'Or over Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

The Brazilian has witnessed first hand the brilliance of the Sweden international, firstly during their time together with AC Milan and now at the Parc des Princes. And with voting for the prestigious prize set to close Nov. 15, Silva has thrown his support behind the 32-year-old.

He told Sky Italia: “As a football fan I love Ibrahimovic. I’m sure that he will be in the top three for the Ballon d’or. It will be difficult for him to win but I think he deserves it as he is performing better than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.”

Silva and Ibrahimovic left Milan to join PSG in the summer of 2012 and won the Ligue 1 title in their first year at the club. But with the Rossoneri struggling since their respective departures, the 29-year-old revealed his sorrow at the club's current plight.

He said: “It’s a difficult time for Milan, especially for those who run the club. Galliani is undergoing a great deal of pressure, but it is not his fault. Milan are paying for mistakes they made in the past. I miss Galliani and the club. I’m so sorry to see them in this situation.”

PSG opened up a four-point gap over second-place Lille with a 3-1 home victory over Nice on Saturday.