Great Britain

Zlatan Ibrahimovic picks Brazilian Ronaldo ahead of Cristiano and Lionel Messi as GOAT as he hits out at Lebron James

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC has awarded Ronaldo Nazario his title of the world's best-ever footballer.

The debate over the game's greatest of all time, or GOAT, has ramped up in recent years amid the stunning longevity of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

While Diego Maradona and Pele are also often named as candidates, former Brazil forward Ronaldo has also earned a high number of nominations.

AC Milan star Ibrahimovic made the case for the double World Cup winner.

The 39-year-old told the Discovery+ Sweden: "Ronaldo, El Fenomeno, he's the best of all time.

"For me, that Ronaldo is football, the way he moved. He's the greatest player in history, without a doubt."

Ronaldo, 44, is often considered the most expensive player of all time, when taking inflation into account for his 1997 move to Inter Milan.

Incredible goalscoring runs at PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona sadly gave way to an injury-plagued spell at Inter, although he found form again at Real Madrid.

Scoring twice in the 2002 World Cup final, he remained at the top of his game for a number of years before injury struck again, proving terminal for his career.

A number of figures within the game consider Ronaldo to be the best ever, including Jose Mourinho and Roberto Carlos, while he was an idol to Mason Greenwood, Mohamed Salah and many more.

Ibrahimovic has never played alongside Cristiano Ronaldo but did join Messi in Barcelona for a disappointing spell in 2009-10, later describing the Argentine as a 'unique talent'.

In the interview, he also criticised LeBron James for taking public political stances.

FREE BETS: GET OVER £2,000 IN SIGN UP OFFERS HERE

The 36-year-old NBA hero campaigned for Joe Biden in last year's US election, alongside his growing voice as an anti-racism campaigner.

But the veteran striker prefers the rich and famous to keep their political views private, and added: "He’s phenomenal, but I don’t like when people with a ‘status’ speak about politics.

"Do what you’re good doing. I play football because I’m the best at playing football. I’m no politician. If I’d been a politician, I would be doing politics.

"This is the first mistake famous people make when they become famous. For me it is better to avoid certain topics and do what you’re good doing, otherwise you risk doing something wrongly."

Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds

Ex-Man Utd stars Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku clash in fiery Milan derby

Football news:

Serie A will hold a meeting due to reports that broadcaster DAZN will participate in the Super League
Fabio Paratici: Ronaldo is the most famous person in the world, according to some research
The creation of a Super League led by Real Madrid and Manchester United may be announced soon (Marca)
Bayern: We do not approve of Flick's unilateral statements. We will continue negotiations
Everton are set to sell Moise Keane for 50 million euros. PSG are working on a deal
Lineker on Barca's Cup win: Koeman did a great job in a difficult time for the club
Zidane about Real Madrid: These players have won a lot, but they want more