Messi, Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic: football’s new superheroes

“The other night, I was standing outside the players tunnel before a Paris Saint-Germain game when Zlatan Ibrahimovic walked past. It was scary. Up close, the Swedish forward looked like a superhero: 1.95m tall, a chest the size of Pamela Anderson’s and the hungry glare of a man who has done his exercises, eaten his greens and had his afternoon nap every day for years. Today’s great footballers are incomparably fitter than their predecessors. But their perfection goes beyond the physical. This is the best time in football’s history to be a star. The game has been restructured in their service. When the Golden Ball for the world’s best player of 2013 is awarded on Monday – most likely to Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid – it will resemble an Oscars ceremony in the golden age of Hollywood.” FT – Simon Kuper

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