Unquestionably, the two respective skipper's will be vital to their team's chances, with Sweden looking towards Ibrahimovic for brilliance in the final third and Portugal looking towards Ronaldo.
Leading to success
But on a team basis, there is no one in world football who has ever led so many different teams to success as the man known as Ibracadebra.
No matter where he's been—Malmo, Ajax, Juventus, Internazionale, Barcelona, Milan and PSG—it's only been so long before the Swede has become THE crucial player to each of those sides, the go-to guy who makes a difference and wins league titles.
Having been a winner at Real Madrid and Manchester United—two perennial league favourites—you could argue that Ronaldo, on a team level, is a by-product of success; For all his greatness, he has the perfect platform to achieve it, certainly in Madrid.
With Ibrahimovic, on the other hand, you could argue (Barcelona exempt as that side was already evolving) that given the level of success he's experienced at each and every club—many of whom encompassed some really quite average players and subsequently struggled to make a dent on the Champions League—success is a by-product of Zlatan.
Zlatan: The great team player
For all the ego and the focus on his individual brilliance, what is often forgotten about Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the incorrigible maverick, is that he is in fact a phenomenal team player.
Certainly, he isn't a guy who runs 100mph for an entire game, hassling opponents and working the full length and width of the pitch: the guy's 6'5" and built like a tank, it's simply something he's not made to do.
But with his technical quality, his mental strength—not many guys can consistently be expected to carry teams without it becoming too much for them—and his vision on the field, Ibrahimovic is a phenomenal team player.
He brings the best out of those around him and has done consistently for the better part of a decade.
He can't be unsettled
Mentally, Cristiano Ronaldo is phenomenal. It's widely acknowledged that there are few more footballer's dedicated to their art and personal improvement than the Portuguese star: “Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest example in the world of professionalism, the sense of perfection and ambition,” says Jorge Valdano, as per MTN Football.
However, there is a school of thought that you can unsettle Ronaldo prior to big matches. His Spanish colleagues at Real Madrid have come up against Portugal's No. 7 at Euro 2012 and the 2010 World Cup and avoided talking to him or recognising his presence in the moments immediately before the game, believing it can unnerve him (as per The Telegraph's Ian Hawkey).
Ibrahimovic, however, is so mentally strong, so certain and decisive about himself, that he simply cannot be unsettled in such a manner. He can laugh and joke before kick-off, or he can just as easily do the ignorance thing; it doesn't matter.
Sure he's tempestuous on the field, but the 32-year-old knows that it's all about him. If he plays well, there's little outside forces can do to deny him. It's a big reason why he's reveled in his role as the man to carry his side, whichever side, over the years.
The subtle dissection
While Ronaldo has grown into perhaps the greatest bludgeoner of opposing defences on the planet—consistently powering through teams with goals, goals and more goals—his Swedish counterpart has matched the ability to power through sides (granted not to the same level) with subtle moments of genuine outrageousness.
For all the displays of raw physicality and power shooting from the PSG striker, every so often, he takes supporters breath away with the kind of deft touches and goals that few other players (if any) on the planet can even think of.
Witness his Euro 2004 goal against Italy, the potential Puskas winner against England and his recent backheel volley against Bastia for Le Parisiens.
At being Zlatan
We've all heard the story about Zlatan not getting his wife anything for Christmas because she already has Zlatan.
And we've all heard many other crazy stories about the Swede—his autobiography, I Am Zlatan, is choc-a-bloc with them, from telling Pep Guardiola he has "no balls" to laying out Jonathan Zebina.
Then, there's the time he asked a female reporter who was questioning his sexuality by inviting her and her sister to his house to show them who's gay.
You simply don't get these kind of stories with Cristiano Ronaldo.
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