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Humble Ronaldo Trounces Bitter Ibra

Cristiano Ronaldo was the unanimous winner in his much vaunted duel with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as Portugal beat Sweden in their race to the World Cup in Brazil.

CR7 also surely silenced some of his critics with his modest to reaction to his big-game hat-trick last night, while Ibra came across as a bitter, sulking loser.

It was yet another night of major glory for Ronaldo.

Not only did his treble secure Portugal’s path to modern football’s most anticipated football fiesta, but it also took him to joint top of his country’s all-time scorer’s list, with 47 goals alongside Pauleta.

There is no doubt that Real Madrid icon Ronaldo will go down in history as Portugal’s greatest ever player, and not only their most prolific scorer.

But as has been the case in recent months, CR7 has again presented a more mature and humble hero to the global media.

Amid the speculation about his winning (or not winning) the Ballon d’Or, gone is the petulant superstar who once claimed to be the best (and best looking) footballer in the business.

"Records are there to be beaten. It was not a priority," Ronaldo told Publico after Portugal’s watershed victory.

"I knew that Portugal needed me. I do not have to prove anything to anyone. I try to do my work and give answers on the pitch.

"I did my job for my team. It is the team who have to be congratulated. We suffered for sure but that is how great teams win things. We retreated a little [when Sweden scored], but then we were better and we played better."

Regarding his hyped battle with Ibra, which ended 4-2 in his favour over the two legs of the tie, Ronaldo told TV4: "I do not compete against Zlatan.

"He is a fantastic player and [the] biggest star in Sweden, but I do not compete against him. I play for my team."

Ibra, however, was less magnanimous in defeat. Wounded that his brace was trounced by Ronaldo’s treble, the big Swede growled that without him, the next World Cup will be “nothing.”

"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," he posted via his app Zlatan unplugged.

"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."

'More To Portugal Than Cristiano Ronaldo'

Ibra For Ballon d'Or?


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