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Dec 19, 2012

Ibrahimovic denies stamp claims

Paris Saint-Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic has defended himself against accusations he stamped on Lyon defender Dejan Lovren during the two teams' Ligue 1 encounter last weekend, claiming: "I didn't see him" .

• Blog: PSG win ugly

OL president Jean-Michel Aulas and Lovren himself suggested Ibrahimovic had deliberately brought his left foot down on the prone Croatian centre-back, causing a head wound, shortly before helping tee up PSG's matchwinning goal on Sunday evening, accusations the Swedish striker denies.

"I didn't see him. I had my eyes on the ball. Then he rolled in front of me," Ibrahimovic told TV channel BeIn Sport on Tuesday evening. "When I go onto the pitch, it's certainly not to injure a player. There is a referee on the pitch to make decisions, and I respect that rule."

Match referee Antony Gautier took no action over the incident, but Aulas suggested the French Football League (LFP) would want to review the matter to see whether there was a case to answer.

"I think that's a shame," Ibrahimovic continued. "For me, if you make attacks like that, it's because you're afraid. And he's right [to be afraid], because PSG is the best team in France. He shouldn't launch attacks like that, it's a sign of weakness."

Meanwhile, Ibrahimovic believes Barcelona's Lionel Messi should be awarded the FIFA Ballon d'Or award this season, insisting he deserves it more than Cristiano Ronaldo or Andres Iniesta.

"Messi is the best player in the world, he deserves the Ballon d'Or," Ibrahimovic said.

"I know he's won it several times but it is deserved. He plays like he's on PlayStation, it's unbelievable. People who say otherwise either don't know anything about football or are just talking nonsense."

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