Zlatan Ibrahimovic has “the talent of Lionel Messi and the willpower of Cristiano Ronaldo”, says Mino Raiola, with the AC Milan striker told he would have eight Ballons d’Or if a public vote determined the recipient of that prize.
An enigmatic Swede has never been in contention for the most prestigious of individual accolades.
He has made the long list of nominees in the past, but has failed to make it into the top three or anywhere near a Golden Ball.
Messi and Ronaldo, meanwhile, have shared 11 successes between them, with a Barcelona superstar edging out his eternal rival to sit on a record-setting six triumphs.
Raiola believes Ibrahimovic’s exploits would have been recognised had voting power been taken out of the hands of professionals and placed into those of an adoring fan base.
He considers the Rossoneri star, who is still going strong at 39 years of age, to be “the most complete player ever”, with his enviable haul of trophies and 558 career goals considered to be an indicator of that.
“I immediately say that between Cristiano Ronaldo, of whom I’m a big fan, and Messi, I’ll always pick the Portuguese,” Raiola told Tuttosport.
“Zlatan, on the other hand, is from another planet in his own right. He is the most complete player ever in the history of football.
“He has the talent of Messi and the willpower of CR7. If the Ballon d’Or had been voted for by the public, I know he would have won eight.”
Ibrahimovic is currently turning out for Milan alongside another of Raiola’s clients, highly-rated goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
The 21-year-old has seen a move away from San Siro mooted in the past and is set to see his current contract expire in the summer of 2021.
Raiola remains coy when it comes to a possible extension for the Italy international, with all options set to be weighed up before committing to any one club.
“He’s a Milan player at the moment, then we’ll see,” Raiola added.
“For sure, Gigio is no longer the one he was four years ago and there are many who ask about him. But I’ll stop here. I don’t want that it becomes a media renewal like last time [when a last extension was signed in 2017].”