World Cup

Ibra: World Cup worthless without me

Zlatan Ibrahimovic cuts a forlorn igure after Sweden's World Cup bid died against Portugal.
Share This Story

   
 

Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has claimed the World Cup will not be worth watching without him after his side lost to Portugal in Tuesday night's qualifying play-off.

Ibrahimovic scored twice but his performance was topped by a hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo in the much anticipated battle between the star forwards, sending Portugal through with a 3-2 win on the night, 4-2 on aggregate.

At 32, it seems Ibrahimovic's last chance to play on the world stage has now passed.

"It was probably the last attempt to reach the World Cup with the national team for me," he said on his app, Zlatan Unplugged. "One thing is for sure, a World Cup without me is nothing to watch so it is not worthwhile to wait for the World Cup.

"Congratulations to Portugal but both teams deserved to get to the World Cup.

"The disappointment of course is great now that the World Cup in Brazil will remain a dream for the Swedish national team."

Ronaldo, who had given Portugal a 1-0 lead in the first leg, scored first in Stockholm to increase Portugal's advantage before two quick Ibrahimovic goals briefly levelled the tie.

It was then the Real Madrid star again with two further strikes to send Portugal through.

After the match, Ronaldo insisted he had not taken any motivation from the much-hyped clash with Ibrahimovic, focusing only on his own desire to reach the World Cup 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 said. "I play for my team."

"Now the team is to be congratulated. What we wanted was to qualify. Now have to sit back and enjoy it. We can go back to our clubs with a clear conscience, make a great season and then look forward to the World Cup."

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

SOCCER Videos

Nigeria reinstated by FIFA Posted: Jul 18, 2014
The Nigerian FA have been cleared by FIFA after being suspended for governmental...

Lahm retires from German national team Posted: Jul 18, 2014
World Cup champion Philipp Lahm has retired from the German national team.

Germany top FIFA rankings after winning World Cup Posted: Jul 17, 2014
Germany's fourth World Cup win has moved them to the top of FIFA's world ranking...

Pele: World Cup exit 'was a disaster' Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Brazilian legend Pele says his national team's recent losses were disastrous and...

Messi's legacy tarnished? Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Warren Barton discusses Lionel Messi's legacy after a lackluster performance in ...