Football

Sweden deserve World Cup more than Portugal - Ibrahimovic

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Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes he and his country deserve to be at next year's World Cup finals more than Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal.

The two countries meet for the first leg of their play-off this Friday, and the World Cup in Brazil will be a worse competition without one of these two truly magnificent players.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sportthe in-form PSG forward said: "With the individuals and the team they have, Portugal are clearly the favourites. But we came second in a group with Germany, which I think is the best team in Europe, whereas they came second in a group they were supposed to win, so I think we deserve to go to Brazil more.

"They're stronger as a team but if we can cut our mistakes down to a minimum we can do it. It's going to be difficult but then it should be because there's a place at the World Cup at stake."

Ibrahimovic has featured at two World Cups but hasn't been able to score on the world's biggest stage, only making two substitute appearances as a 21-year-old in 2002 before failing to score four years later as Sweden crashed out to hosts Germany in the round of 16.

Sweden failed to qualify for the tournament in 2010 and if they lose to Portugal in the play-offs you would have to feel that the 32-year-olds chances of scoring at a World Cup may be over.

If they do qualify, however, it would give Zlatan more of a chance to break the Swedish goalscoring record set by Sven Rydell (49), which Ibra is currently three goals behind:

"I feel good with Sweden, fired up and motivated. I want to beat the Swedish goalscoring record and become Sweden's all-time top scorer. There are lots of little things which keep me going, giving me fresh incentive."

Cristiano Ronaldo will certainly have something to say about Ibrahimovic achieving this feat at next years tournament however, with the Real Madrid star desperate to add a World Cup medal to his outstanding collection of honours.

Like Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo has somewhat under-performed on footballs biggest stage - only managing two World Cup Finals goals in nine appearances which came against minnows Iran and North Korea, and will be eager to prove himself at the tournament.

Whichever way the play-off goes, football fans will miss one of the games global superstars, whilst hoping the other one is able to provide their golden touch and make a mark on the tournament in Brazil next year.


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Topics:
World Cup
Football
Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
Internationals

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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