Football

Cristiano Ronaldo & Ibrahimovic showdown could decide Ballon d'Or

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If you asked Zlatan Ibrahimovic how he felt about his team's World Cup qualification efforts, you may expect the usual joking answer that seems customary from him.

On Thursday, the media did just that. When asked by reporters prior to Friday's match, Ibrahimovic said in a press conference: "We're in the playoffs and we've done really well up to now.

"Portugal, with their team and individuals, are naturally favourites".

Ibrahimovic was quick to heap praise on the individuals from the Portuguese side, but questioned their worthiness as he continued to say: "But we finished second in our group behind Germany, the best team in Europe.

"They finished second in a group they should have won. I think we deserve more to go to Brazil."

Whether this is a fair statement or not, Ibrahimovic looks at it as an uphill battle but believes his team can prevail.

A side-story can also be pulled from this matchup as Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo are both potential Ballon d'Or winners after the great play they have shown throughout the past year.

Between the two, they have scored 25 goals in the past seven matches and show no signs of slowing down.

Ibrahimovic also has six in his last nine matches for Sweden proving that his domination hasn't been kept to just the French league.

Ronaldo has shown most of his dominance with Real Madrid scoring enough goals in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League to set a record.

Both seem to be at the peak of their play with Ibrahimovic having scored some of the most memorable goals of the calendar year for club and country, and Ronaldo seems to not be wasting any time in any competition as well when it comes to scoring. 

All this has the makings for a fantastic matchup with both players vying for a spot in the World Cup next summer as well as making their last push for their individual prize.

There's no doubt that both will also be thinking of the potential ramifications towards the Ballon d'Or if they fail to qualify for the World Cup.

Especially under the added pressure of a play-off leg to decide their fate, both will be considering this match as a need to win for their respective countries as well as personal campaigns for Player of the Year.

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Topics:
World Cup
Football
Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

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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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