Forlan backs Xavi for Ballon d'Or

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The Independent Football

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Forlan believes Xavi should win the Ballon d'Or despite being hotly tipped to be named European Footballer of the Year himself.

The Uruguay striker was named the best player at this summer's World Cup finals following a string of impressive performances and five goals.

However, he still believes the Spain and Barcelona midfielder is a more worthy candidate for Europe's top individual honour.

Xavi's Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi is the current holder of the annual accolade.

"I want to win the Ballon d'Or, but if were give the opportunity to vote, I would give it to Xavi," declared Forlan.

Meanwhile, Forlan has also pledged his future to Atletico Madrid despite reports of interest from Real Madrid.

He added: "I'm flattered that (president) Florentino (Perez) and (coach Jose) Mourinho are interested in me, but I'm happy at Atletico Madrid."

Barcelona defender Dani Alves has accused Zlatan Ibrahimovic of lacking patience following his departure from the Camp Nou.

The Sweden striker has joined AC Milan on a season-long loan following a mixed first season in Spanish football.

The former Internazionale striker dropped out of the starting line-up during the second half of the last season and appeared to be unsettled in La Liga.

"Perhaps Ibra lacked patience," suggested Brazil international Alves.

"Maybe he did not fit in our team and our game system and did not wait long enough to adapt."