The Paris Saint-Germain striker is a candidate for the world's best player award but Barton, who spent last season on loan with French club Marseille, suggests the Swede is not good enough to land the prize.
"No, he does not deserve the Ballon d'Or. He is not the best player in the world," Barton told RMC.
"I have no problem with Zlatan. This is a great player and an interesting personality. He is a great goalscorer, his story is remarkable and football needs players like him."
For the big stories and the banter follow us on Twitter: @tribalfootball