Ibrahimovic Warns Cristiano: 'The World Cup Needs Zlatan More Than Ronaldo'

BR-UK StaffFeatured Columnist IVNovember 13, 2013

Getty Images

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has raised the stakes ahead of his eagerly anticipated showdown with Cristiano Ronaldo this week, stating that "the World Cup needs Zlatan more than Ronaldo."

Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo, widely accepted as two of the greatest players in modern football, are set to square off over two legs over the course of the next week, as Sweden and Portugal contest a playoff to decide which nation will go to next summer's World Cup in Brazil.

The two superstars have taken much of the focus in the leadup to Friday's first leg in Lisbon, with worries also surrounding Ronaldo's fitness.

But Ibrahimovic believes he is the one fans are really concerned with, claiming as good as the Real Madrid player undoubtedly is, he is not as exciting to watch as the man who likes to refer to himself in the third person.

Said the Swedish and Paris Saint-Germain striker on Wednesday, per the Daily Mail:

I think that the World Cup needs Zlatan more than Ronaldo.

The excitement I can bring to the game and the goals I can score—nobody can rival me for that. I believe the fans would want to see me there above anybody.

I respect him as a player—there is no question he is one of the best. [...]

The World Cup is the greatest sporting competition in the world—it needs to have the best players. If Ronaldo, or Neymar, or Rooney, or Messi, or Xavi is missing then it is a shame for the competition—and it is a shame for the World Cup that one of myself or Ronaldo will not be in Brazil. 

I just need to make sure I do everything over the next two games to make sure that it is him who misses out and not myself.

Is he right? Would you really rather see Ibrahimovic in Brazil than Ronaldo?