Ballon d'Or awards

Zlatan, Klopp in Ballon d'Or exchange

January 14, 2014
By ESPN staff

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Juergen Klopp were filmed conversing at the Ballon d’Or awards, with the PSG forward suggesting he would like to play for the Dortmund coach -- though seemingly only in jest.

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Ibrahimovic picked up the Puskas Award for the Goal of the Year and was also named into the World XI at the gala event, while Klopp came second behind former Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes for the Coach of the Year trophy.

Both were caught on camera during an exchange of niceties. “When will you bring me to Dortmund?” the Swedish superstar joked, with a seemingly baffled Klopp replying: “I would have to sell the whole team.”

But Ibrahimovic continued the joke as he offered to join Dortmund on a free transfer.

“If you come for free, it’ll be okay,” Klopp said before turning to the reporter recording the exchange. “Did you hear what he said?”

Ibrahimovic spoke in glowing terms about Klopp’s work at Dortmund, the former Mainz coach having guided BVB to last year’s Champions League final.

“I am happy to see your team, it’s a very strong team. It’s hard work, but at the end you get credit for it. So it’s good,” Ibrahimovic told Klopp, who returned the nicety by saying: “I enjoy your game.”

The YouTube video of the interview went viral immediately, and on early Tuesday already had close to half a million views.

Ibrahimovic, meanwhile, was delighted to have won the Puskas Award for best goal of 2013 -- his long-range bicycle kick for Sweden against England earning him the prize.

“I think that whoever who has scored that goal deserves to win a trophy for it,” Ibrahimovic said. “Yes it was in a friendly game but it’s a goal that remains in the history.

“People will remember it for a long time and players will try to repeat it but I am the one who scored it and I’m very happy.

“To get a trophy for it is some kind of proof that it’s already an amazing goal. It not only remains in history, this goal also got a trophy so, it’s a perfect thing”.

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