Laurent Blanc talks up Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Ballon d'Or

PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring a penalty during the French Ligue 1 match against Marseille on October 6, 2013
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Laurent Blanc says that Zlatan Ibrahimovic deserves to be considered among Europe's best following the announcement of the Ballon d'Or shortlist.

Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc has said that Zlatan Ibrahimovic deserves to be considered as a serious contender for the FIFA Ballon d'Or.

The 32-year-old Swede scored a hat-trick in yesterday's 3-1 win over Nice, taking his tally to eight goals in Ligue 1 and 13 in his last seven matches.

Blanc admitted that competition is strong from the usual candidates such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but he believes that Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery is the frontrunner.

"Does Ibra deserve it? It is not a question of merit or not, you know how these awards are distributed," he told reporters.

"You should see who it's based on: Ronaldo, Messi or Ribery. If Ibra can be added to this list, I'd be happy because he scores extraordinary goals. But in terms of what Ribery has won, you can't do better.

"One thing is certain, regardless of the winner it will be a beautiful Ballon d'Or this year."

The winner of the Ballon d'Or will be announced at Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 13.

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his third goal during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid vs Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on November 9, 2013
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