2014 World Cup news

Zlatan: World Cup nothing without me

November 20, 2013
By ESPN staff

Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes the World Cup will be "nothing" in his absence as Sweden's hopes were dashed by Cristiano Ronaldo's four goals in two games as Portugal qualified for next year's World Cup.

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The Swede scored twice for his nation in the second leg, but was overshadowed by Ronaldo's hat trick.

Speaking after the game, Ibrahimovic said to his app Zlatan unplugged: "It was probably the last attempt to reach the World Cup with the national team for me. 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."

Meanwhile, Ronaldo played down the hype surrounding his battle with Ibrahimovic. "I do not compete against Zlatan," he said to TV4. "He is a fantastic player and [the] biggest star in Sweden, but I do not compete against him. I play for my team."

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