The striker believes 2013-14 was the best season of his career but accepts not being in Brazil this summer could count against him
Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes missing out on the World Cup this summer could cost him his chance to win the Ballon d’Or.
The Paris Saint-Germain star was named on the 23-man shortlist for Fifa’s most prestigious individual prize earlier this week, along with typical candidates Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and six members of Germany’s World Cup-winning side.
Ibrahimovic scored 41 goals in 46 appearances in all competitions last season as PSG lifted both the Ligue 1 title and the Coupe de la Ligue but, although he feels 2013-14 was arguably his strongest ever campaign, the Sweden international accepts it may not be enough.
“I think I have just played the best season of my career,” Ibrahimovic told PSG TV. “That’s one of my objectives: to be better each year and always improve.
“I’ve been nominated, but it will be difficult because I didn’t play in the World Cup. A lot of fantastic players shone at the World Cup, so they’ll have a certain advantage but, as long as I do what I can do, that I achieve results and I play at a high level, I can aim to win this award.
“That’s what I try to do anyway day after day, by working again and again.”
Ibrahimovic, who has been sidelined since late September with a heel problem, could return to action against Lorient this weekend.