Very Funny:Missing World Cup could cost me Ballon d’Or – Ibrahimovic

The PSG and Sweden star believes 2013-14 was the best season of his career but accepts not being in Brazil this summer could count against him

Missing World Cup could cost me Ballon d'Or - Ibrahimovic

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.

Torres: I felt useless at Chelsea

The AC Milan striker insists he still speaks regularly to Jose Mourinho but had to leave Stamford Bridge because he “needed more”

Torres: I left Chelsea to feel important

Fernando Torres says he ditched Chelsea for AC Milan in the summer because he did not feel important at Stamford Bridge.

The striker joined the Blues for what was in January 2011 a British record transfer fee of £50 million, having seen his remarkable early standards at Liverpool suffer a dip.

Torres failed to return to his goalscoring peak and never truly justified his price-tag during his three and a half years at the west London side.

After Chelsea signed in-form forward Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid ahead of the 2014-15 season, Torres opted to join Milan on a two-year loan deal and has now claimed the decision was not motivated by any falling-out with Jose Mourinho.

“Mourinho has always been good to me,” Torres told Cuatro. “The decision to leave was a personal one because I needed more, I needed to feel important.

“Mourinho and I have a good relationship and still today we continue to talk to each other.”

Speculation was rife during the summer that Torres could return to Atletico Madrid but the 30-year-old claims such a move was never an option.

“There wasn’t a genuine option to return,” he added. “The media speculated it and I didn’t like that.

“I’ve said it many times: I won’t go to Atletico to retire. I will go if I have motivation to compete because their team today is very different than when I was there.

“I follow them every weekend, but they were never an option that were real.”

Torres has scored once in seven appearances for Milan, who have made an inconsistent start to the 2014-15 season.

You’ll always be a translator!

In his new book, the 62-year-old has accused the Chelsea manager of having an inflated ego and criticised Nicolas Anelka, Franck Ribery and Zinedine Zidane

'Translator' Mourinho mocked by former France boss Domenech

Former France boss Raymond Domenech has called Jose Mourinho “a translator” and suggests the Chelsea manager has an inflated opinion of himself.

Speaking in his new book Mon dico passione du foot, which translates to ‘My Passionate Football Dictionary’, the 62-year-old also criticised Nicolas Anelka, Franck Ribery and Zinedine Zidane.

“That’s the problem with translators,” Domenech said when referring to Mourinho. “There comes a time when they convince themselves they wrote the text themselves.”

In August 2006, Mourinho accused Domenech of treating Claude Makelele “like a slave” after the former Chelsea midfielder was selected for a Euro 2008 qualification match, despite his plans to retire from international football after the World Cup earlier that summer.

Anelka, who was sent home at the 2010 World Cup after a bust-up with Domenech, was described by the former France coach as a “Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde” character.

Domenech was also critical of Ribery’s attitude at the World Cup in South Africa in which France finished bottom of Group A after a draw and two defeats.

“[He] forced the national team to put up with his bad character, even his acts of stupidity, in South Africa and afterwards,” Domenech said of Ribery. “But since then, Sir is in a mood because he wanted to win the Ballon d’Or.”

Zinedine Zidane was accused by Domenech of being selfish after head-butting Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup final.

Domenech believes the former Real Madrid and Juventus midfielder “sacrificed the team’s chances for the benefit of his pride”, and pointed out that Thierry Henry “sacrificed his image for the benefit of the France team” after his handball against Republic of Ireland in a World Cup play-off in 2009.

Rodgers questions Balotelli’s talent

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has questioned whether Mario Balotelli‘s standard is good enough for the club.

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Balotelli has become something of a scapegoat for the Reds’ problems on the pitch.

“The Mario Balotelli show is no different to me. He is treated like any other player,” Rodgers said.

“We have an image of a team here, of how we play and work and how we represent the club.

“I like players that are different. I like individual personality in people with hair and coloured boots but as long as they don’t see themselves as an individual that is what is important.

“They have to fit into the parameters of the team and if those players over the longer term don’t it can be difficult for them to work here.

“But in terms of that he is genuinely working hard and doing his best at Liverpool.

“Longer term we will see how that works out for him but he is trying hard on the training field to improve his opportunities to score goals.

“As long as he is doing his best that is all I can ask as a coach: whether that best is going to be good enough that remains to be seen – but that is the same for every player not just Mario.”

He is so arrogant and rude!

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has been slammed by Spanish TV star Sister Lucia Caram!

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The Dominican nun is star on Spanish TV with her cooking show “Sister Lucy”.

But Sister Lucia is no fan of Ronaldo.

“He is very cocky and arrogant, has a tremendous ego, he must learn humility and recover the joy,” said Sister Lucia on local radio.

Watching Ronaldo from a distance, Sister Lucia thinks Ronaldo “shows sadness on his face, he is bitter.”

Messi rejects being substituted!

Lionel Messi refused to be substituted by Barcelona coach Luis Enrique during victory over Eibar.

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AS says Barca coach Luis Enrique, at 3-0, wanted to replace Messi with Munir El Haddadi on 76 minutes and gestured to the Argenntine to come off.

But Messi blanked the coach’s orders and in the end Enrique took off Neymar for Munir.

Asked about the row, Enrique confirmed: “I have to evaluate everything, but I trust my feelings of what I said and how it is. Throughout the season rest is important, but I think it is a special moment for the team and for him.

“Sometimes I look on from the sidelines and say how lucky we are to have Messi.”

Real Madrid ace Ronaldo dismisses Platini Ballon d’Or claims

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has dismissed UEFA president Michel Platini’s push for a German to be handed the Ballon d’Or.

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Ronaldo is a clear favourite for the gong, but Platini says a player from World Cup winners Germany should be given the award.

“That’s his opinion. It’s not my responsibility. I just have to give my best like I have been doing for the past four years,” said Ronaldo.

“I’ll do my talking out on the pitch.”