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Mar 20, 2014

'Ibrahimovic could win Ballon d'Or'

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Blaise Matuidi has guarenteed that his team have no intention of letting their Ligue 1lead slip after beating Saint-Etienne 2-0 on Sunday.

Paris Saint-Germain boss Laurent Blanc has stated his admiration for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and believes the striker is the one current player at the club who could win the Ballon d'Or.

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Ibrahimovic, 32, finished fourth in the vote for the 2013 prize after plundering 41 goals in 50 appearances in PSG's Ligue 1 title-winning season and helping his club into the last eight of the Champions League.

Though he has never managed to even get into the top three in the vote for the planet's best player, Blanc told Yahoo! Sports that the Sweden international could yet pick up the honour.

The PSG coach said: "He's a guy who, contrary to what people might believe, is very open. He really loves football. It's true that, from time to time, he has his bad moments during which you shouldn't bother him too much. But I've known players more difficult to handle than him.

"He likes to know what you're asking him to do, and once he's understood that, he puts in the necessary motivation and concentration.

"He's always there an hour before everyone else, working in a professional manner. In my team, the one who could be the Ballon d'Or is Ibra. He astonishes me with the speed of his movement and his balance, which is in keeping with that of a guy who measures 1.75 metres."

Meanwhile, PSG's super-rich Qatari owners have promised each player an unprecedented one million euro bonus should they win this season's Champions League, L'Equipe reported on Thursday.

Ibrahimovic is reported to have negotiated the bonus on behalf of the players with club president Nasser Al Khelaifi. The sum dwarfs the 240,000 each PSG player received for reaching the quarterfinals last season. 

It is also in excess of the reported 450,000 euros the Chelsea squad received for becoming European champions in 2012, while Bayern Munich players each received only 800,000 for their treble last season. Real Madrid are said to have promised their players half-a-million euros each should they lift the club's 10th European title this season.

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