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Player Focus: Ronaldo vs Ibrahimovic - Whoever Wins, Football Loses

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Player Focus: Ronaldo vs Ibrahimovic - Whoever Wins, Football Loses

 

Ahead of the World Cup playoffs, Cristiano Ronaldo netted a hat-trick in Real Madrid’s 5-1 win over Real Sociedad. Over in Paris, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored 3 identical goals to his Portuguese counterpart as PSG secured a 3-1 victory at the expense of Nice. While it’s perhaps the norm for the duo, their exploits are perhaps all the more pertinent considering the two will face off twice over the next 8 days.

 

Portugal and Sweden were drawn together to determine who would partake in next summer’s elite football competition and while supporters are looking forward to the upcoming double-header, one of either Ronaldo or Ibrahimovic will miss the World Cup, such was the lottery of the draw. With 39 league and Champions League goals between them, to quote the tagline from ‘Alien vs Predator’: “Whoever wins…we lose”.

 

As exaggerated as that may seem, supporters flock to games to admire the very best players and both Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic match this category of performer. Focusing initially on the former, Ronaldo has secured an average WhoScored rating of 8.38 in both La Liga and the Champions League this term, scoring 24 times, while his 16 goals in Spain’s top tier means he’s currently the top goalscorer in Europe’s top 5 leagues.

 

Picking up 5 assists over both competitions highlights how important he is to the Real Madrid starting XI, regardless of the acquisition of Gareth Bale for a world record £85m in the summer. This is further denoted in that in the 93 La Liga games Ronaldo has scored in since signing in 2009, Real have never lost, winning 87 and drawing 6. His impact is further accentuated in the 3 man of the match awards he’s received this season, and perhaps more so when taking into account the high level of quality of his teammates.

 

In relation to the Primera Division, it’s little surprise to see that only Lionel Messi (8.34) is rated higher than Ronaldo, although that may well change considering Messi is set to be ruled out until January 2014 with a hamstring problem, given the form Ronaldo is in. The 28-year-old’s return this term fully justifies his impressive rating, with the forward having scored the most free kicks (2), the most goals from inside the penalty area (14), had the most shots (103) and the most shots on target (44) in La Liga, while no player has scored more clear-cut goalscoring opportunities (10) than the Real star.

 

Coupled with Messi’s injury, many now believe the former Manchester United forward to be the favourite to land the Ballon d’Or in January and wouldn’t begrudge Ronaldo the award after a blistering start to the season. As a result, there are supporters who believe he is the more deserving of a place at the World Cup, regardless of some, at times, ineffectual displays for the Portugal national team.

 

Player Focus: Ronaldo vs Ibrahimovic - Whoever Wins, Football Loses

 

However, it’s all but impossible to completely rule out Ibrahimovic as being the bigger loss to next summer's tournament in Rio. The powerful Swede has been nominated for the FIFA Puskás Award for the “best goal of the year” following his overhead kick against England last November and has continuously dazzled with himsdisplays for PSG this season. While he has netted fewer goals than Ronaldo this term, Ibrahimovic has won his legion of admirers due to his unpredictability in possession and demeanour on the pitch.

 

While his average rating in both Ligue 1 and the Champions League (7.69) may be lower this season, his attitude towards the game has a number of fans hopeful that Ibrahimovic goes to Brazil next summer at the expense of his Real counterpart. His exploits in France’s top tier this season are certainly deserving of a place in South America, with only Edinson Cavani and Falcao (both 9) scoring more goals than the 32-year-old (8).

 

His performances last term alone all but won PSG their first Ligue 1 title since 1994, and netting 30 league goals in the process he became the first person since Jean-Pierre Papin in the 1989/90 season to do so. Ronaldo may well have been winning the plaudits in La Liga this term, but Ibrahimovic is deserving of similar adulation being sent his way.

 

The powerful frontman has had the most shots on goal (62) and the most shots on target (23), while no player has executed more accurate through balls (4) and only Falcao (7) has scored more clear cut goalscoring opportunities than Ibrahimovic (6) in Ligue 1. The PSG talisman may be approaching the autumn years of his playing career, but his stats suggest that he remains one of football’s most feared strikers and he's earned what could be a final international hurrah on the grand stage.

 

When the two players showdown, first in Portugal and then in Sweden, eyes will be fixed on the duo as fans expect a repeat of the 2006 ‘Joga Bonito’ Nike advert featuring both stars. The encounter is enough to leave the neutral salivating, but when all is said and done next Tuesday, the reality is that one of either Ronaldo or Ibrahimovic won’t be partaking in the World Cup next summer and as entertaining a competition Brazil 2014 will be, the excitement levels won’t quite be the same without either of them involved.

 

 

Would you rather see Cristiano Ronaldo or Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the World Cup next summer? Let us know in the comments below


Comments (15)

 
  • @bombarolo exactly

  • CR7 is the best!

  • Ibra is the most underrated player ever Best center forward of the decade. He deserved be finalist of ballon d'or at least one time in your carrer

  • Mattia, amen on that brother. I'm not saying Cristiano Ronaldo is not one of the best, but football is much more than statistics, there are values you can't demonstrate on a paper by counting how many times you touch the ball. I guess individually CR7 is little bit better, but the impact, one makes for the team in a match, requires comprehension of the whole game and not just goals and dribbles. I think Zlatan beats him on that aspect.

  • Ronaldoooooooooo Ronaldoooooooooooo Just like they sing at bernabeu..

  • Portugal is too good for sweden as a team ,especially in games where its do or die. They even whooped spain 4-1 in a friendly to show their worth when they were up against world champs by raising yheir game. No matter how good ibra is ,messi & cr7 has their parallel league ,if it wasnt for blatter both these beasts would have been at brazil. Messi fanboys can dream all day long but cr7 is gonna make it. Peace

  • Ibra, brother Sir !!!

  • If not clear I'd chose Ribery for this season! And after him bale, too bad he played for spurs, he has been awesome!

  • Ronaldo plays for himself not for the team. And that's the reason why Sweden will join the world cup. He's so complexed about winning the ballon d'or, I don't like it, the spirit of the game is to win for the team and play for the teammates not to play wide outside the core of the game on the weak side of the defense and just finishing actions scoring 40 tap-ins against osasuna and rayo, all just to reach a goal record. The ballon d'or is about being key player of the season for the team, not missing big games, showing class charm and a high level of play, key role on winning trophies not scoring dozens of unusefull goals, numbers sometimes have different weights. Maradona was the best player, he scored very few goals compared to Ronaldo or Messi, but I dare you to say he wasn't after watching 2 or 3 games. It's just another level of football, like Ronaldinho.

  • Z L A T A N I B R A H I M O V I C

  • Sweden Is better Because Ibra Better In National Match

  • ronaldo will win this! he always performs well in the important matches! he is the only reason why portugal is considered a big team...

  • This is battale of two great countries and two amazing players but Ibrahimović is better in national team than Ronaldo in his, and Sweeden will be in final Tourtament !

  • I love Ibra but Cristiano has to qualify for the World Cup..

  • CR7 is miles ahead. Only Messi can be compared to him

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Goodson Cristian Sapunaru Sergio Tejera Zaragoza Espanyol Kyriakos Papadopoulos Egidio Bruno Rodrigo Nilton Kenny Miller Daniel Caligiuri Salif Sané Maicon Daniele De Rossi Peter Odemwingie Nicklas Bendtner Yannick Sagbo Julio Cesar Wojciech Scczesny Wahib Khazri Francesco Lodi Rômulo Togni Fabien Camus Clément Chantôme Ishak Belfodil Coritiba Eden Ben Basat Marco Sau Ricardo Alvarez Josuha Guilavogui Eddie Johnson Brad Evans Roque Santa Cruz Fabrizio Miccoli Ibai Gomez Szabolcs Huszti Giovani dos Santos Pedro Leon Lars Bender Carlos Martínez Dennis Diekmeier Álvaro Pereira Bastian Oczipka Beñat Joan Verdu Betis Stephane Sessegnon Nnamdi Oduamadi Walter Gargano Heiko Westermann Kyle Beckerman Michel Benny Felihaber Inigo Martínez Stefan Kiessling Papiss Demba Cisse Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa Jack McInerney Magnus Eikrem Nir Biton Hiroshi Kiyotake Antonio Candreva Diego Milito Benjamin Stambouli Iago Aspas Fernandao Ederson Maxi Biancucchi Deivid William Gonzalo Rodríguez André-Pierre Gignac Matt Jarvis Carlos Martinez Ezequiel Lavezzi Diego Sercan Sararer Dani Hernandez Fábio Coentrão Alex McCarthy Leon Balogun Paul Baysse Vitória Matthew Lowton Pablo Zabaleta Paul Scholes Simon Pouplin Daniel Carvajal Chico Stefan Savic Maarten Stekelenburg Ruben Castro Imanol Agirretxe Arouna Kone Antolin Alcaraz Jonny Evans Nacho Damia Jakub Blaszczykowski Giampaolo Pazzini Adam Le Fondre Michu Victor Valdes Andrés Fernandez Nigel Adkins Mattia De Sciglio Nelson Valdez Cañas Víctor Sánchez Deportivo Mallorca German Denis Giacomo Bonaventura Marco Borriello Jean Beausejour Gary O'Neil Jose Antonio Reyes Thomas Mangani Dorlan Pabon Gabby Agbonlahor Vieirinha Cristian Molinaro Diego Lopez Freiburg Eintracht Frankfurt Raphaël Varane Pedro Mba Obiang Brandao Ilkay Gundogan Bayern Leverkusen Malaga Ilkay Gündoğan Pizzi Riki Jan Mucha Mathis Bolly Maynor Figueroa Craig Gardner Marko Basa Mirko Vucinic Steven Taylor Inigo Martinez Leon Osman Man City Ben Foster Patric Evra Matija Nastasic Javi Garcia Lucas Moura Michel Bastos Roberto Di Matteo John Arne Riise Gareth McAuley Innocent Emeghara Siena Carlos Cuellar Javier Zanetti Michele Canini Zdenek Pospech Sergio Garcia Damien Duff Yoan Gouffran Giuseppe Biava Hilton Nicola Legrottaglie Magno Macedo Novaes Daniel Aranzubia Antonio Conte Andrea Ranocchia per Mertesacker Manucho Leo Nils Petersen Cyril Thereau Adam Szalai Pavel Pogrebnyak Roman Neustadter Daniele Conti Milan Badelj Gerhard Tremmel Daniel Agger Kyle Nauhgton Zoltan Gera Brett Holman Adriano Youssuf Mulumbu Premier League. Luis Suarez Federico Peluso Jamel Saihi Gustavo Cabral Wakaso Daniele Gastaldello Danilo David Pizarro loris Nery Hugo Mallo Gotoku Sakai Andre Wisdom Andre Schürrle Mousa Dembélé Hamburger SV Rafael van der Vaart Rene Adler Sean Morrison Juan Jesus Frederik Sorensen Nicolas Isimat-Mirin Joel Matip Barry Bannan Nicky Shorey Luca Cigarini Andrea Consigli Carl Medjani Ricardo Faty Jerome Rothen Takashi Inui Takashi Usami Steven Pienaar Tolgay Arslan Loris Nery Wissam Ben Yeder Angelo Ogbonna Yoann Gouffran Marc Planus Ludovic Obraniak Emanuel Herrera Anthony Mounier Daniel Congre Pablo Hernandez Arda Gueida Fofana Arnold Mvuemba Steed Malbranque Kwadwo Asamoah Christian Maggio Massadio Haidara Jean-Christophe Bahebeck Mladen Petric Real Betis Riccardo Montolivo Lucio Christophe Jallet Gokhan Inler Ilkay Gundogan Marvin Martin Steeve Elana Alain Traore Renaud Cohade Geoffrey Dernis Daniel Avles Patrick Helmes Raobin van Persie Pablo Armero Rondon Fabio Borini Patrick Herrmann Jonathan Scmid Kostantinos Fortounis Vincent Pajot Josua Guilavogui Idrissa Gana Gueye Ezequiel Munoz Nene Oliver Sorg Davide Brivio Sebastian Larsson Franceso Totti Tom Trybull M'Baye Niang Jean Daniel Akpa Akpro Matias Silvestre Euro 2012 Olof Mellberg Crisitano Ronaldo Alvaro Arbeloa Sebastian Boenisch Alan Dzagoev Andrey Arshavin Michael Krohn-Dehli Vaclav Pilar Theodor Gebre Selassie Gordon Schildenfeld Greece Miguel Veloso Mark Davies David Hoilett Santiago Garcia Marco Rignoni Vicente Guaita Michael Rensing Paul Robinson Fabien Audard Thomas Vermaelen Younes Belhanda Aurelien Chedjou Nancy St. Etienne Lukas Piszczek Dante Gijon Claudio Pizzaro Racing Santander Jonas Hannover Santander Claudio Pizarro Cesena David Jarolim Joe Cole Moussa Dembele Yakubu Leon Best Benat Kaiserslautern Christian Tiffert Paolo De Ceglie Federico Balzaretti Jeremey Menez Juan MGladbach Andreas Ivanschitz Jires Kembo-Ekoko Guillaume Hoarau Florent Malouda Steve Gohouri Kenwyne Jones Lecce Stephen Ireland Jakub Blaszcykowski Sloan Privat Abraham Guie Guie Louis Saha Martin Harnik German Bundesliga Grant Holt Ali Al-Habsi Ludovic Sane Aldo Angoula Younes Kaboul Brest Marcelo Stiliyan Petrov mathieu Valbuena Tono Ramirez Gianluca Buffon Emile Heskey John Utaka Markus Rosenborg Jonathan Biabiany Andrea Caracciolo Evian Thonon Gaillard Mohammed Abdellaoue Dijon Anton Ferdinand Betting Eric Mouloungui Gregory Pujol Eduardo Ribeiro Sebastien Larsson Nolan Roux Bradley Johnson Jamie O'Hara Wes Brown Jason Lowe Jose Enrique Anders Lindegaard Mark Schwarzer Cheik Tiote Alberto Aquilani Danny Murphy Martin O'Neill Modibo Maiga OGC Nice Perparim Hetemaj Alejandro Faurlin Leon Britton Antonio Nocerino Maximiliano Moralez Claudio Marchisio Marco Rigoni Simone Pepe Heidar Helguson Mark Gower Blackburn Emanuele Calaiò Zlatan Ibrahimović Germán Denis Jose Jurado Nicolas Anelka Edgar Barreto Alexandre Song Shaun Wright-Phillips Nicolas Maurice-Belay Jhon Jairo Culma Kevin Anin Sebastien Corchia Kevin Theophile-Catherine FC Cologne Julien Feret Jaroslav Plasil Yann Jouffre Tomas Rincon Kevin Davies Giampiero Pinzi Tamas Hajnal Camel Meriem Frederic Bulot AS Nancy Gabriel Torje Lynel Kitambala Florent Sinama-Pongolle Idriss Saadi Oscar Trejo Botelho Juanlu Axel Bellinghausen Gonzalo Castro Andrea Cossu Marcel Schafer Marco Hoger Timothy Chandler Bolton Wanderers Ivan Klasnic Paris St Germain Wolverhampton Wanderers Wigan Athletic Javi Varas Blackburn Rovers Stephan Lichtsteiner Anotnio Cassano Nenad Milijas Anatoliy Tymoshchuk Luis Gustavo Ruud van Nistelrooy Benoit Cheyrou Lucho Gonzalez League Analysis Walter Samuel Christian Chivu AS Roma Stephen Warnock Martin Kelly Gary Caldwell Karl Henry Kevin Doyle England National Football Team Javi Venta Vicente Iborra Sergio Ballesteros Bobby Zamora Jonas Gutierrez Dariusz Dudka Youssouf Hadji Christian Abbiati Alvaro Dominguez Phil Neville Senad Lulic Filip Daems Ezequiel Schelotto Victor Ruiz Jonathan Pereira Anthony Reveillere Santiago Gentiletti Cheikh Diabate Nicolas Spolli Luciano Fabian Monzon Mauricio Isla Ignazio Abate Titus Bramble Leroy Lita Christian Lell Philipp Wollscheid Milivoje Novakovic Tottenhman Hotspur Johan Cavalli Eliseu Serdar Tasci Ryan Babel Aleksandar Ignjovski Chechu Dorado Djamel Mesbah Arsenal Swansea Ashely Williams Piscu Eden Dzeko Emmerson Boyce Auxerre Phil Bardsley Jose Bosingwa Gretar Steinsson Mattia Cassani Jonathan Woodgate Germany National Football Team Gasperini Mauro Zarate Diego Forlan Estaban Cambiasso Juraj Kucka Marco Faraoni Joel Obi Benedikt Howedes Clemens Fritz Chris Lowe Daniel van Buyten Albania Yann M’Vila Baptiste Reynet Angelo Palombo Eric Tie Bi Chris Mavinga Aaron Hughes Chris Baird Raul Aly Cissokho Alessandro Del Piero France National Football Team Marc Tierney Bundelsiga Raul Bobadilla Loric Remy Jean Pascal Mignot Mainz 05 Schalke 04 Marcel Risse Steven Reid Danny Gabbidon Michal Kadlec Paulo Machado Ben Watson Spain National Football Team German National Football Team Bundeslgia Ricardo Carvalho Ivan Ramis Diego Colotto Sergio Fernandez Sere A Cesare Bovo Miguel Britos Bostjan Cesar Jose Angel Gabriel Heinze Chris Samba Charles N'Zogbia Yohan Demont Rod Fanni Rudy Mater Georgios Tzavellas Javier Pinola Dennis Aogo Daniel Schwaab Attacking Full-Backs Defensive Wingers 2010/11 Attacking Wingers Nicolas Douchez Under-21 Team of Season 2010-11 Maxi Rodriguez Crossing Wingers Under-21 Team of Season All-Round Midfielders Benoit Pedretti Rising Stars Gaetano D'Agostino Centre Backs Paulo Da Silva Ivan Hernandez Eric Abidal Weligton Borja Ekiza Alassane Toure Stephane Grichting Jordan Loties Kader Mangane Adama Coulibaly Pedro Geromel Neven Subotic Christian Zapata Roger Johnson Stephan Lichsteiner Reto Ziegler David Vaughan Seb Larsson Asamoah Gyan Benoit Pedretti Anthony Mounier Simao Duda Alvaro Cejudo Xabi Prieto Alexsandar Kolarov Guiseppe Mascara Simone Bentivoglio Fernando Marques Gian Piero Gasperin Thomas Hitzlsperger Rafael Van der Vaart Theofanis Gekas Gerard Asamoah Youssef Al Arabi Lisandro Loric Remy Victor Hugo Montano Edison Cavani Sergio Pellissier David Di Michele Steward Downing Spain Under 21 Felipe Caicedo Pierre Webo Youssef El-Arabi Brown Ideye Mobido Maiga Chu-Young Robin Van Persie Kevin Gamerio Udinese. Alexis Sanchez Sami Allagui Frédéric Kanouté Renato Augusto Jonathan Pitropia Eljero Elia Ivo Llicevic Diego Perez Alvaro González Abel Hernandez David VIlla Marcel Schmelzer Danijel Pranjic Holger Badstuber Sven Bender Johan Djourou Darren Fletcher Carlos Kameni Thiago Silve Antonia Di Natale Oliver Baumann Anatoliy Tymoscchuk Christain Fuchs Cristiano Zapata Domenico Criscito Luis Jimenez Josep Ilicic Samuel Eto’o Alexis Thébaux Ludovic Sané Mamouda Sakho Boukary Dramé Daniel Alves Nikolay Mihaylov Charles Puyol Ji-Sung Park Edwin van der Sar Dani Alves John O’Shea Park Ji-Jung Gabi Fernandez Jonathan de Guzman Michael Owen Gary Taylor-Fletcher Ian Evatt DJ Campbell Charles N’Zogbia Wolverhampton Avram Grant Conor Sammon Wayne Bridge Rob Green Victor Obinna Mike Hanke Borussia Munchengladbach VfL Bochum Tomasz Kuszczak Martin Olsson Brett Emerton Steven N’Zonzi Muset Ozil Gianpaolo Pazzini Leonardo Seydou Keita Miguel Pallardo Ibrahim Afellay Valdo Pallardo Damien Perquis Luka Modrid David SIlva Benoit Assou-Ekotto Vedran Corluka Saloman Kalou Clarence Seedorf Matteo Brighi Fabio Simplicio Rodrigo Taddei Mark Van Bommel Gennaro Gattuso Kevin Prince-Boateng Nicolas Burdisso Elkin Soto Pep Gaurdiola Antonio da Silva Robert Mak Anderson. Jack Wilshere Heurelho Gomes Andre Marriner Pinto Alavro Arbeloa Alexander Hleb Messi Ronaldo

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