Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimović denies applauding Ronaldo in the World Cup qualifier play-off against Portugal in a recent La Gazzetta dello Sport article.
The Swedish striker was caught on camera clapping his hands after the Real Madrid star scored the final goal of his hat-trick in the thrilling 5-goal clash.
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the video of Ibrahimović supposedly applauding Ronaldo’s third goal for Portugal.
La Gazzetta dello Sport quote Zlatan as saying:
Was I applauding Ronaldo? No, I was just trying to encourage my team-mates.
I clapped my hands to cheer them up and motivate them for the last few minutes.
We had already gone down before. It is important not to give up until the final whistle because the unexpected can always happen.
Ibrahimović then went on to speak more personally about Cristiano Ronaldo and, in true Zlatan style, was not overly complimentary:
He’s obviously a great player, but we allowed him way too much space. Nobody’s as good as he is on the counterattack. This game once more showed his biggest qualities.
Is he the best player in the world? I can only say that he scored one goal more than I did.
Spotted on Goal.com