There is an age-old argument about which footballer is the greatest of all time: Pele or Diego Maradona, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, or the alternative option named by Zlatan Ibrahimovic?
Although some may expect the charismatic Swedish star to bestow such an honour upon himself, the 39-year-old believes the all-time best is prolific Brazilian forward Ronaldo.
Ronaldo starred for PSV, Barcelona, Inter and Real Madrid during a distinguished 14-year European club career, claiming the Ballon d’Or in 1997 and 2002, and earning countless other prizes and awards.
‘Il Fenomeno’ helped his nation lift the World Cup twice, in 1994 and 2002, and was once a runner-up in 1998, while scoring 62 goals in 98 international caps for the Selecao.
“I always tell everyone who plays with me: Ronaldo is football. That Ronaldo is football,” said Ibrahimovic.
“The way he moved, the way he did those stepovers, those mazy runs. In my view, he is the best player in history, no doubt about it.”
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 26, 2018
While the Milan striker was in his homeland speaking to UEFA and Discovery+ about his career, he also voiced strong opinions about NBA superstar LeBron James.
While Ibrahimovic recognises the 17-time All-Star’s talent, he does not agree that athletes should use their platform for political reasons, like campaigning for justice and social change.
“What he does is phenomenal, but I don’t like it when people with a certain status talk about politics,” he said.
“Do what you are good at. I play football because I am the best at it. If I was a politician, I’d have gone into politics.
“This is the first mistake that famous people make when they feel like they’ve arrived.
“I think it’s better to steer clear of these issues and do what you’re good at.”
— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 20, 2021