Portugal hero Cristiano Ronaldo has denied claims that he was not spurred on by competition with Sweden star Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Tuesday night.
The prolific Real Madrid superstar scored a sensational hat-trick to fire Portugal to the 2014 World Cup finals at the expense of Sweden, who scored twice through the impressive Ibrahimovic but lost 3-2 on the night.
The World Cup play-off clash was billed as a direct battle between the two European stars - but even though it proved to be the case, in many ways, Ronaldo remains adamant that he was motivated by the prospect of leading his national team to next summer's finals in Brazil.
"I do not compete against Zlatan, he is a fantastic player and biggest star in Sweden, but I do not compete against him," Ronaldo told reporters. "I play for my team."
The 2008 Ballon d'Or winner said Portugal "100 percent" deserved to qualify - and added that his recent celebrations were not a message to FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
"I don't have to respond to anyone," the ex-Manchester United star continued, "my answers are given on the pitch.
"I do not live my life obsessed with titles and do not have to show anything to anyone, because I have shown my worth, I've done 40/50 goals every season and it is not within the reach of anyone. I know what I am."
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