Ronaldo v Ibrahimovic – Who should go to Brazil 2014?

This Friday sees Portugal and Sweden clash in the first-leg of the World Cup Qualifier play-offs, bringing together two of the finest players on the planet. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and the Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic come head-to-head for a place in Brazil next summer. In an ideal footballing world, both of them would be there next year. Unfortunately one will miss, but which individual deserves to be there? We examine both cases.

RONALDO vs IBRAHIMOVIC – WHO SHOULD GO TO BRAZIL 2014 WORLD CUP ?

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo has been in sensational form this season, particularly in contrast to that of his La Liga counterpart Lionel Messi. The Real Madrid forward has scored 27 goals for club and country in 19 appearances so far, netting four hat-tricks along the way. His last hat-trick came in Madrid’s 5-1 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday, making him the top goal scorer in the Spanish Primera. The 28-year-old is also the top goal scorer in the Champions League with 8 goals, scoring in every game of the competition so far – which is remarkable considering Los Blancos are in a group with Juventus, Galatasaray and Copenhagen.

The Portuguese captain has 43 goals in 107 appearances for his country and is undoubtedly the star man. If Portugal are to have any chance of qualifying for the World Cup, they’ll be looking to the former-Manchester United forward to produce the goods. Ronaldo’s performances over the past year have seen him nominated for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award yet another time. Messi has pipped the Madrid man to the title the past two years running, with Ronaldo scooping the prize back in 2008. Ronaldo has left messi behind in the race for ballon d’Or 2013.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Like Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic is the captain and talisman for his country. In his 94 appearances for Sweden, the 32-year-old has scored 46 times. So far this season, the Paris Saint-Germain striker has scored 17 goals in 19 appearances for club and country and Ibrahimovic scored a hat-trick of his own at the weekend against Nice. The towering forward has also scored seven goals in the Champions League this season, four of which came against Anderlecht in Belgium.

Ibrahimovic is one of the biggest characters in world football. His newly released autobiography sheds light on some strange events in his career such as: sacking his agent after being linked with Southampton and clashing with former-Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola. The Malmo-born forward has won league titles for Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and at his current club PSG. His 30 league goals, the best in Ligue 1 that season, helped his club win their first title in 19 years – adding a tenth league title medal to Ibrahimovic’s collection (including the two revoked in the Calciopoli scandal). He scores magnificent goals week in, week out, making opposition defenders look useless. The World Cup next year could be his last chance to perform at the tournament, which would be poorer without him.

No matter who goes through to the World Cup from the play-offs, it’s a shame neither of them can both be there. The biggest stage in world football deserves players of their quality, but who do you think should be there? Give Your Views in the comments…

This Friday sees Portugal and Sweden clash in the first-leg of the World Cup Qualifier play-offs, bringing together two of the finest players on the planet. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and the Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic come head-to-head for a place in Brazil next summer. In an ideal footballing world, both of them would be there next year. Unfortunately one will miss, but which individual deserves to be there? We examine both cases.

RONALDO vs IBRAHIMOVIC – WHO SHOULD GO TO BRAZIL 2014 WORLD CUP ?

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo has been in sensational form this season, particularly in contrast to that of his La Liga counterpart Lionel Messi. The Real Madrid forward has scored 27 goals for club and country in 19 appearances so far, netting four hat-tricks along the way. His last hat-trick came in Madrid’s 5-1 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday, making him the top goal scorer in the Spanish Primera. The 28-year-old is also the top goal scorer in the Champions League with 8 goals, scoring in every game of the competition so far – which is remarkable considering Los Blancos are in a group with Juventus, Galatasaray and Copenhagen.

The Portuguese captain has 43 goals in 107 appearances for his country and is undoubtedly the star man. If Portugal are to have any chance of qualifying for the World Cup, they’ll be looking to the former-Manchester United forward to produce the goods. Ronaldo’s performances over the past year have seen him nominated for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award yet another time. Messi has pipped the Madrid man to the title the past two years running, with Ronaldo scooping the prize back in 2008. He’s 3.80 to win again this year.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Like Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic is the captain and talisman for his country. In his 94 appearances for Sweden, the 32-year-old has scored 46 times. So far this season, the Paris Saint-Germain striker has scored 17 goals in 19 appearances for club and country and Ibrahimovic scored a hat-trick of his own at the weekend against Nice. The towering forward has also scored seven goals in the Champions League this season, four of which came against Anderlecht in Belgium.

Ibrahimovic is one of the biggest characters in world football. His newly released autobiography sheds light on some strange events in his career such as: sacking his agent after being linked with Southampton and clashing with former-Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola. The Malmo-born forward has won league titles for Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and at his current club PSG. His 30 league goals, the best in Ligue 1 that season, helped his club win their first title in 19 years – adding a tenth league title medal to Ibrahimovic’s collection (including the two revoked in the Calciopoli scandal). He scores magnificent goals week in, week out, making opposition defenders look useless. The World Cup next year could be his last chance to perform at the tournament, which would be poorer without him.

No matter who goes through to the World Cup from the play-offs, it’s a shame neither of them can both be there. The biggest stage in world football deserves players of their quality, but who do you think should be there? Give Your Views in the comments…

Real Madrid 5-1 Real Sociedad. Ronaldo Plays Hero Once Again in Real Win, Fires his 19th La Liga Hattrick

Cristiano Ronaldo netted yet another hat trick of the season in Real Madrid’s 5-1 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday, as the Portugal forward extended his scoring run to nine goals in his last four games.

Ronaldo’s latest bundle of goals took him three past Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa as the leading scorer in the Spanish league with 16 through 13 rounds. Ronaldo also tops the Champions League with 8 goals.

“[Ronaldo] is playing on another level,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “He scores with such incredible ease. It’s tough to find words to describe him.”

Madrid’s win pulled it to within two points of Atletico and three points behind league leader Barcelona before they have matches on Sunday.

Ronaldo opened the scoring, adding another goal from the penalty spot and a third with a well-placed free kick. Karim Benzema also kept up his good form by scoring while Gareth Bale set up Sami Khedira for a goal.

Ronaldo has recorded eight multi-goal performances, including three hat tricks, in 17 matches for Madrid this season. He will hope to keep his streak going when Portugal plays Sweden in a two-leg playoff on Nov. 15 and 19 with only the winner qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

“It will be a very important tie for us,” Ronaldo said. “We want to be in the World Cup and we will try our hardest to get there.”

Here are The Match Pictures:

Fortsätt läsa Real Madrid 5-1 Real Sociedad. Ronaldo Plays Hero Once Again in Real Win, Fires his 19th La Liga Hattrick

Video: Cristiano Ronaldo Hattrick vs Real Sociedad – La (Nov 9, 2013)

Cristiano Ronaldo continues his blistering form against Real Sociedad. Ronaldo Scored his yet another hattrick this season, It was his 19th Hattrick in La Liga and 3rd for Real madrid in 2013/14 Season.

Here is the today’s 3 Goals of Cristiano Ronaldo:

Cristiano Ronaldo completes his Hattrick with amazing Freekick Goal. It was His 20th Freekick Goal for Real Madrid.

Here is the Freekick Goal Video:

Ronaldo breaks Messi’s record for most Champions League goals in a calendar year..

Cristiano Ronaldo has broken his rival’s record for the most goal in a calender year in champions league.

Ronaldo scored his 8th goal in Champions league this season against Juventus last night in Turin and with that goa he became the first player to score 14 Goals in a Calender year in UEFA Champions League.

Real Madrid 
forward Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed his delight at overtaking Barcelona’s Lionel Messi for the number of Champions League goals scored in a calendar year.

I’m so happy; this is a great moment for my career. I feel so loved and always try to do my best,” Ronaldo told Sky Sport.

”I’m not worried about the records. They come naturally. Its positive, but I want to win more and to be better in the future.

”We knew the difficulty against Juventus. In the first half we suffered, [but] in the second half we were redeemed. We reacted so well, we hit the post and we were better.”

It was the Portuguese’s eighth goal in four Group B games this term and his 14th in the Champions League this calendar year, a total which sees him surpass Messi’s 13 strikes in 2012.

Ronaldo‘s goal was his 59th in the Champions League. The Portuguese now trails only Messi (63) and Raul (71). He also needs just one more strike to set a new group stage record currently shared with Hernan Crespo, Filippo Inzaghi and Ruud van Nistelrooy.

The draw sees Carlo Ancelotti‘s side up to 10 points at the top of Group B.

Juventus 2-2 Real Marid. Ronaldo, Bale score but Real Madrid held to 2-2 draw at Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo kept his goalscoring run going on Tuesday as he helped Real Madrid to an entertaining 2-2 draw at Juventus that left his side on the verge of qualification for the Champions League knockout stages.

Juventus dominated in the first period and Iker Casillas made two crucial saves but Arturo Vidal gave the Italian side a deserved halftime lead from the penalty spot after Paul Pogba was fouled by Raphael Varane.

Ronaldo leveled for Madrid with his 21st goal in 16 matches this season and set up another minutes later as Gareth Bale put Carlo Ancelotti’s side in front.

Madrid‘s lead lasted just five minutes before Fernando Llorente headed in the equalizer for Juventus.

”I feel very good, I’m in a very good moment of my career,” Ronaldo said. ”It’s my profession, I try to do my best every year, I want to show everyone that I am a good player and that I always give my best for my team.

”In the first half we didn’t play well, we played too deeply, too defensively. The coach told us we needed to play better. We were good in the second half, scored two goals, hit the woodwork, we had a good response. We are practically in the next round, we need one point, I think it’s almost impossible that we won’t qualify.”

Madrid dropped its first points but remains top of Group B with 10 points, while Juventus slips to bottom spot after Copenhagen beat Galatasaray 1-0.

”We need to beat Copenhagen at home and then play for everything against Galatasaray,” Juventus coach Antonio Conte said. ”We should be fortified because we had a great performance and a good result against a really strong team. My players showed on the pitch that we can play against anyone.”

Madrid won its three previous Champions League matches to take a commanding lead of the group. Juventus had just two points and knew it had to win to have a realistic chance of advancing.

Conte‘s team attacked from the outset and Pogba had an early opportunity, but fired wide of the left upright from distance.

Madrid had its first chance in the ninth minute when Ronaldo ran half the length of the pitch and into the area before unleashing a shot which fizzed just past the left post.

The visitors again went close moments later when the world’s most expensive player, Bale, won a challenge with Martin Caceres for the ball but his tame effort was comfortably saved by Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Juventus should have scored in the 16th minute when Pogba‘s cross was almost turned into his own net by Pepe, but Iker Casillas managed to save at point blank range. Although he spilled the ball, no one could take advantage and the danger was cleared.

The Italian side went closer shortly before the 30th and Claudio Marchisio seemed almost certain to score with a header, but Casillas did brilliantly to deflect it past his right post with his leg.

Madrid was camped out in its own half and reduced to trying to hit Juventus on the counterattack. Bale went close when he curled a shot narrowly past the far corner.

Juventus broke the deadlock when Varane slid into Pogba and referee Howard Webb pointed straight to the spot. Vidal stepped up and fired into the top right corner to send Juventus Stadium into a frenzy.

Ronaldo had a chance to equalize on the stroke of halftime but spooned his effort horribly over the crossbar as he was bumped by teammate Karim Benzema.

It was the Portugal star who leveled seven minutes after the interval, chipping Benzema‘s through-ball over the onrushing Buffon for his eighth goal in this season’s group stage, matching the record held by Ruud van Nistelrooy, Filippo Inzaghi and Hernan Crespo.

Madrid almost took the lead four minutes later but Xabi Alonso‘s screamer crashed off the crossbar.

It was end to end action in Turin and Marchisio again went agonisingly close with an effort which beat Casillas, but was cleared off the line by Pepe.

Madrid, which had lost its past five matches against Juventus in Turin, went in front on the hour mark. Ronaldo picked out Bale on the far side of the penalty area and the Welshman squeezed a shot in between two Juventus players and into the bottom right corner.

However, Juventus was back on level terms just five minutes later when Llorente headed Caceres’ cross powerfully past Casillas’ outstretched hand.

”I think the problem in the first half was Pogba and Marchisio giving us a lot of trouble and we defended too deeply,” Ancelotti said. ”The second half was very different, we pressurized them more and played further up the pitch and had much more possession.

”I don’t think we’ve yet reached our best, we’re still improving. Juventus is a solid and strong squad with good talent, I think in the end they will pass the round with us.”

Here are the Match Pictures: Fortsätt läsa Juventus 2-2 Real Marid. Ronaldo, Bale score but Real Madrid held to 2-2 draw at Juventus

I Thought Cristiano Ronaldo Would Have An Attitude: One Direction’s Niall Horan

One Direction heartthrob Niall Horan was greatly surprised when he met footballer ace Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time last year.

The Irish hunk and his 1D bandmates were reportedly invited to a Real Madrid training session in exchange for concert tickets for football manager Jose Mourinho’s daughter.

Before meeting Ronaldo, the ‘Best Song Ever’ hitmaker actually thought the 28-year-old sportsman would have an “attitude”.

“That was a good day,” Horan told The Sun. “José’s a really nice guy but I also couldn’t believe how nice Cristiano Ronaldo was.

I thought he was going to have attitude but he didn’t – he’s like the joker of the team.”

Meanwhile, One Direction have finally wrapped up their huge Take Me Home world tour. The boys will now focus on their third album, Midnight Memories, which will be available to buy later on this month.

Their latest single ‘Story Of My Life’ from the album has already taken the charts by storm this week.

Real Madrid 7-3 Sevilla. Ronaldo & Bale on Fire as Real route Sevilla in home

Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed a hat-trick and Gareth Bale became the fifth British player to score for Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in La Liga when he struck twice in an action-packed 7-3 win over Sevilla on Wednesday.

Making his first home start for the Spanish club, Gareth Bale finally brought the Bernabeu to life with a brace of goals against Sevilla but the Welshman was still upstaged by Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese star scored a memorable hat-trick in Real’s 7-3 thrashing and celebrated the first of three goals with a military salute, a mischievous riposte to Fifa President Sepp Blatter.

Earlier in the week Blatter was forced to apologise to Ronaldo after making a series of scurrilous remarks about the former Manchester United striker, including calling him the ‘Commander’.

Ronaldo replied to Blatter on the pitch against Sevilla. His response to Blatter on Wednesday night was emphatic, and he becomes only the second player in history to score a hat-trick against the same side for four consecutive seasons. Real’s legendary Alfredo Di Stefano achieved the same feat against Las Palmas in the late 1950s.

For Bale, however, the evening was just as encouraging, the first time he has shown Real fans why president Florentino Perez forked out around £85m for his services in the summer. He opened the scoring on 13 minutes, controlling Karim Benzema‘s low cross in the penalty area with one touch before curling the ball into the top corner of the Sevilla net. Ten minutes later Bale doubled Real’s advantage with a 30-yard free kick that took a wicked deflection of Alberto Moreno.

Ronaldo made it 3-0 on the half-hour mark from the penalty spot when Fernando Navarro brought down Isco but Sevilla then scored twice before the break to breathe fresh life into the La Liga clash.

But Bale took control of the game in the second half, teeing up Benzema for Real’s fourth goal and then supplying Ronaldo on the hour mark with the pass that made it 5-2 to the hosts.

Though Sevilla pulled another goal back on 63 minutes, Ronaldo scored his third of the night ten minutes later. France striker Karim Benzema, who has been struggling to find the net for both club and country, also helped himself to two goals as third-placed Real closed to within two points of Atletico Madrid ahead of their game at Granada on Thursday.

Carlo Ancelotti’s team looked far from convincing at times and let Sevilla back into the match after taking an early 3-0 lead but what eventually became a rout was a welcome boost after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Barcelona.

Sevilla played the final quarter of an hour with 10 men after midfielder Stephane M’Bia was shown a second yellow card for catching substitute Luka Modric with a flailing arm and it was the first time in almost 50 years that 10 goals were scored in a La Liga match at the Bernabeu.

”It was quite a strange game with the amount of goals and everything that happened, some of the decisions, but we got the three points,” Real midfielder Xabi Alonso, who came on as a second-half substitute after a lengthy injury absence, told Spanish television.

”Personally I am very pleased to be back because these five months have been a big challenge,” added the Spain international.

”Little by little I will pick up the pace and start to be useful to the team again.”
Fortsätt läsa Real Madrid 7-3 Sevilla. Ronaldo & Bale on Fire as Real route Sevilla in home

Real madrid 2-1 Juventus. Ronaldo’s brace lifts Real Madrid past Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo maintained his impressive form in the Champions League by scoring two goals to give Real Madrid a 2-1 win against 10-man Juventus on Wednesday.

The Portuguese had fired the hosts into a fourth-minute lead with a tidy finish, but Juventus were level midway through the opening period when Fernando Llorente bundled home from close range.

Ronaldo took his tally to an incredible 7 goals in just first three Champions League games this season with a penalty five minutes later and Juve’s task became even tougher when Giorgio Chiellini was sent-off just after the interval.

Cristiano Ronaldo with his Second goal against Juventus last night surpasses Van Nistelrooy (56) to become Champions League 3rd all time Top Scorer with 57 goals. Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored 53 goals in 2013, whereas messi has scored 43 goals including 14 penalty goals compared to ronaldo’s 12 Penalties in 2013.

Gareth Bale was then introduced to make his home European debut for Real, but despite failing to make the most of their numerical advantage they held on to make it three wins from three in Group B.

Defeat, however, leaves the Italian champions in a perilous situation with just two points from three games, now two behind Galatasaray after they beat FC Copenhagen 3-1 in the other game in the group on Wednesday.

 ”After the sending-off they backed off and it was more difficult for us to create opportunities,” Madrid captain Iker Casillas told Canal Plus. ”But we have taken an important step towards qualifying with nine points in three games.”

The return of Casillas in goal was one of four changes that Real boss Carlo Ancelotti made to his side from the 2-0 win over Malaga at the weekend, but the Spanish captain showed no signs of rustiness as he parried away a fine drive by Claudio Marchisio inside the first two minutes.

Two minutes later and Madrid were in front as Angel Di Maria cut inside and slipped a perfect reverse ball in behind for Ronaldo to round Gianluigi Buffon and find the net from a narrow angle.

Juventus responded brilliantly to going behind, though, as they swarmed forward and Carlos Tevez saw two efforts from distance fly just off target.

And they were deservedly level on 22 minutes when Casillas parried Paul Pogba‘s header at the end of a flowing move and Llorente swept home the rebound for just his second Juve goal since joining from Athletic Bilbao.

It took Madrid just seven minutes to edge back in front as referee Manuel Graefe rightly awarded a penalty when Chiellini hauled down Sergio Ramos as the defender tried to get on the end of Di Maria‘s free-kick.

 Ronaldo stepped up and dispatched the spot-kick with an unerring ease high into the net. Both sides could have added to their tally before the break as the game rushed from end to end with Andrea Pirlo and Ronaldo firing just off target.

However, the game swung even further in Madrid’s favour just three minutes into the second half when Chiellini was harshly shown a straight red card for bringing down Ronaldo just outside the area.

Karim Benzema should then have sealed the three points when he somehow conspired to fire wide of an open goal from two yards out after great work from Di Maria and Alvaro Arbeloa.

Bale was introduced for the much maligned Benzema with just under 25 minutes remaining, but the Welshman struggled to make any impact on the game and certainly didn’t enhance his chances of starting when Real travel to face Barcelona in La Liga on Saturday.

Here are the Match Pictures: Fortsätt läsa Real madrid 2-1 Juventus. Ronaldo’s brace lifts Real Madrid past Juventus