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Pepe: Portugal Not Favourites

Real Madrid and Portugal defender Pepe does not believe that his country is the favourite when they take on Sweden in their World Cup play-off tie.

The Portuguese team finished behind Group F winners Russia and Sweden ended Group C in second place to qualify for the play-offs.

Portugal qualified for the 2010 World Cup and last year’s European Championship via the play-offs, but Pepe believes both sides have an equal chance to qualify.

"We have to face this situation with as much transparency as possible so we can qualify for the World Cup,” he said.

"What we try to do in these two games and we have to be very smart to be able to achieve the qualification. This game against Sweden will be extremely difficult for us, we have to live up to in order to get a positive result.”

"They are try to pass the pressure to Portugal but I think there is a 50 per cent chance for each side. Over two games, we have to be good to get the qualification."

Pepe also praised club and country team-mate Ronaldo, as the best player on the planet and hopes the prolific forward is wins the Ballon d'Or.”

"Ronaldo is, from my point of view, the best in the world. His numbers (goal scoring record) are unthinkable and therefore I think at this point there is no comparison,” the defender added.

"I hope that this year he is the winner."

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