Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic turned down a move to China worth €100m because he wanted to keep competing at the highest level, his agent has claimed.
Ibrahimovic made the switch to United after his contract expired with French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
He has made a confident start to his career at Old Trafford, scoring six goals in 10 appearances.
The Swede’s agent Mino Raiola told Italian newspaper Il Giornale: “Ibrahimovic is the best. He turned down €100m net from the Chinese. He doesn’t want more money, he wants to win.
“I’ve been lucky, I’ve always had champions. Zlatan, [Pavel] Nedved, Maxwell and now [Blaise] Matuidi and [Gianluigi] Donnarumma.”
Raiola added that striker Mario Balotelli could have won the Ballon d’Or five times if he had the mentality of Ibrahimovic.
The Italy forward joined Nice in the close-season after disappointing stints at Liverpool and AC Milan, but Raiola says his natural ability could have taken him much further.
“Mario is a phenomenon, but he’s Balotelli,” Raiola said.
“He suffered a lot when he was a child, and he’s always been that way in the head. If he had the mentality of Zlatan, with his talent he’d have won five Ballon d’Or.”