Skip to content

Ibrahimovic: ‘A world cup without me is not worth watching’ as Sweden succumb to Ronaldo’s heroics

Nov 20, 2013, 9:02 AM EST

Sweden Portugal WCup Soccer Getty Images

At the final whistle of Sweden’s 3-2 World Cup playoff defeat at home to Portugal on Tuesday night, Swedish captain and global superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic cut a forlorn figure as Portgual’s players celebrated qualification to the 2014 World Cup.

Zlatan, 32, knows his last chance to shine on the world stage had just been snatched away from him. And, perhaps sadly, the world may never get another chance to see Ibrahimovic light up the globe’s biggest tournament again.

This summers World Cup won’t be the same without him. In true Ibra fashion, he even said it himself.

“It was probably the last attempt to reach the World Cup with the national team for me,” Ibrahimovic said. “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.”

(MORE: Ronaldo topples Zlatan – Real Madrid star’s hat trick sends Portugal past Sweden, into 2014 World Cup)

You have to love his honesty, even if some find his outlandish arrogance annoying. The guy is a stud and scored two great goals to give the Swedes a faint hope of overturning Portugal’s 2-0 lead in the second leg. But Ibra’s stunning salvo in four second half minutes proved fruitless as his arch-nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a hat trick and took the top prize and all four of Portugal’s goals in the clash dubbed as Zlatan vs. Ronaldo.

Ibra was gracious, yet disheartened, in defeat.

“Congratulations to Portugal but both teams deserved to get to the World Cup,” Ibrahimovic continued. “The disappointment of course is great now that the World Cup in Brazil will remain a dream for the Swedish national team.”

(MORE: 31 down; one to go – Updated list of countries qualified for FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil)

The second leg of this European World Cup playoff lived up to the billing of a supreme battle between two of world soccer’s greatest players. Ronaldo scored four times, Zlatan twice and Portugal won 4-2 on aggregate. On reflection the Portuguese deserved to make the dance and their squad is a lot stronger than Sweden’s. I have no hesitation in predicting that Portugal will at least make the quarterfinals at Brazil 2014 and that Ronaldo will take the tournament by storm.

As for Ibrahimovic… he’s said he won’t even be watching it. I’ll leave you with his thoughts on a Ibrahimovic-less World Cup one more time.

“One thing is for sure, a World Cup without me is nothing to watch.”

Latest Posts
  1. WATCH: Premier League live online via NBC Sports Live Extra – Week 27

    Feb 28, 2015, 8:20 AM EST

    Live Extra

    How to watch every single PL game during Week 27 live online or via the app.

  2. Watch Live: West Ham United vs. Crystal Palace (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Feb 28, 2015, 7:33 AM EST

    Alan Pardew, Crystal Palace FC Alan Pardew, Crystal Palace FC

    How will Pardew get on as he returns to Upton Park? Watch live online, here.

  3. Odell Beckham Jr. appears on TV show in England, reveals former dream was to be a pro soccer player

    Feb 28, 2015, 7:20 AM EST

    Washington Redskins v New York Giants Getty Images

    Beckham chats with Sky Sports in the UK about his dream to play soccer, ‘that’ catch and much more.

  4. WATCH: Van Gaal remains coy over Manchester United’s league standing

    Feb 27, 2015, 11:46 PM EST

    Manchester United v Cambridge United - FA Cup Fourth Round Replay Getty Images

    Louis van Gaal speaks of Manchester United’s mindset at this stage of the season.

  5. Celtic aim to catch fans who violated UEFA policy with fireworks

    Feb 27, 2015, 10:50 PM EST

    Celtic Getty Images

    Celtic released a statement that urged fans to join hunt for the people who set off fireworks in Europa League competition and violated UEFA’s code of conduct.

  6. Mourinho believes Premier League ‘loses credibility’ with Matic suspension

    Feb 27, 2015, 9:15 PM EST

    France Soccer Champions League AP

    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho asserted the Premier League’s reputation is at stake with Nemanja Matic’s ban.

  7. Former DC United midfielder Freddy Adu to sign with Swedish side

    Feb 27, 2015, 7:32 PM EST

    Credit: Blackpool Gazette Credit: Blackpool Gazette

    Freddy Adu will have a shot to revive his career in Sweden.

  8. Bale, Ronaldo declared fully fit after ‘precautionary’ training week

    Feb 27, 2015, 6:48 PM EST

    FBL-ESP-LIGA-REALMADRID-ESPANYOL FBL-ESP-LIGA-REALMADRID-ESPANYOL

    Bale and Ronaldo are set to perform in Sunday’s match vs. Villarreal after not taking part in full training sessions this week.

  9. Bayern Munich down FC Köln, cruise to 11-point Bundesliga lead

    Feb 27, 2015, 5:40 PM EST

    FC Bayern Muenchen v SC Freiburg - Bundesliga Getty Images

    Bayern Munich unsurprisingly improves on their position in league competition.

  10. Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks: Everton, Man United, Man City, Stoke

    Feb 27, 2015, 4:20 PM EST

    464041878 Getty Images

    Citizens, Red Devils and Toffees will all bag big wins this weekend, according to PST’s Editor and Lead Writer.

  11. Premier League Preview: West Ham vs. Crystal Palace

    Feb 27, 2015, 3:50 PM EST

    FBL-ENG-FACUP-CRYSTAL PALACE-LIVERPOOL Getty Images

    Preview of West Ham-Crystal Palace match airing live on NBCSN this Saturday morning.

  12. Watching a UEFA Champions League game with US star Geoff Cameron

    Feb 27, 2015, 3:16 PM EST

    Cameron admires, and has beaten, Arsenal. Cameron admires, and has beaten, Arsenal.

    In our latest with Stoke City and U.S. national team star Geoff Cameron, we sit down in his house and watch Arsenal’s clash with AS Monaco.

  13. WATCH: PST Extra previews Liverpool vs. Manchester City

    Feb 27, 2015, 2:55 PM EST

    PST Extra - Feb. 27

    The PST Extra crew dissect the key areas as Liverpool host Man City on Sunday.

  14. Premier League Preview: Manchester United vs. Sunderland

    Feb 27, 2015, 2:25 PM EST

    Swansea City v Manchester United - Premier League Getty Images

    Watch United vs. Sunderland live on NBCSN and online via Live Extra at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday.

  15. WATCH: Premier League TV schedule – Week 27

    Feb 27, 2015, 12:44 PM EST

    PremierLeagueNBC

    Where and how to watch all the Premier League games during Week 27.

  16. Sepp Blatter wants 2022 World Cup final to be played on December 18

    Feb 27, 2015, 12:01 PM EST

    Blatter: “The World Cup will not go on until the 23rd, definitely not.”