This summer Eurosport is counting down the world's greatest footballers, as voted by our international network of journalists. We will reveal one player per day, culminating in the election of the first Ballon d'Eurosport on July 19.
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A volatile mix of arrogance and brilliance, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is football’s most compelling character but his unpredictable personality never overshadows his exploits on the pitch, which are near impeccable.
The Sweden international has won 10 league titles across four different countries – though two were retrospectively revoked due to the Calcioopoli scandal that hit Juventus – and a tally of 30 goals in 34 games for Paris Saint-Germain last season only underlined his enduring quality.
Winning yet another title proved once again that building an attack around the 31-year-old is a shortcut to success, and while this complex individual - who had a tough upbringing in Malmo - unsurprisingly suffered from disciplinary problems, his consistent excellence saw him named Ligue 1’s Player of the Year.
Deadly in the box and cultured in his approach play, Ibra also has a penchant for the spectacular and in November of last year scored a frankly outrageous 30-yard bicycle kick to complete a four-goal haul against England in a friendly.
Though his reputation has often been questioned in England, our UK and Ireland office ranked him eighth in the world, with only Turkey, France and Poland rating him higher in their lists.
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How Eurosport voted
We asked the editorial teams of 10 countries/areas around the Eurosport network to compile their list of the world's 25 best players.
Then we did the sums, Eurovision-style. It's simple: a first-place vote is worth 25 points, second place is 24... all the way down to one point for a 25th-place vote.
The Ballon d'Eurosport so far