Ibrahimovic jokes Real Madrid chief Perez was ‘crucial’ to Ballon d’Or success

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has joked Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is behind the Ballon d’Or success of Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric after the Croatian midfielder became the latest Bernabeu star to win the award.

The Portuguese forward was overlooked for the individual accolade as former Real team-mate Modric collected the prize in Paris on Monday night.

Modric’s victory ended a 10-year dominance of the prize by Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi but his win did ensure a Los Blancos player had won it in five of the last six years.

Ibrahimovic, who is currently being linked with a move back to AC Milan, has joked that it was Perez competing for the prize with Messi and not Ronaldo.

‘Now we know it was Perez who was competing with Messi’, he said, according to Fox Sports.

Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri admitted he felt star man Ronaldo should have won the Ballon d’Or but feels the snub can act as motivation for the rest of the campaign.

Ronaldo finished second to Modric while Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann was third. Allegri thinks his player should have been given the prize but hopes his rebuff will spur Ronaldo on.

‘I think he deserved to win the Ballon d’Or for what he did with Real Madrid, winning the Champions League,’ he said, according to FourFourTwo.

‘At the World Cup with Portugal honestly he couldn’t go any further [than the round of 16]. Therefore, I mean, he deserved it.

‘But I think that this can be a motivation to do even better this season and win the next Ballon d’Or with Juventus.’