Laurent Blanc talks up Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Ballon d'Or

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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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Bayern Munich19152244143047
2Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen1987439271231
3Schalke 04Schalke198743025531
4RB Leipzig199463128331
5Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach199463030031
6Borussia DortmundDortmund1986540251530
7Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt198652420430
8Augsburg197662825327
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11Hertha Berlin196762727025
12Freiburg195862033-1323
13Wolfsburg1931152224-220
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15Mainz 05195592433-920
16Werder Bremen193791625-916
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