Ronaldo: I have nothing to prove
Cristiano Ronaldo insists he has does "not have to prove anything to anyone" after guiding Portugal to the 2014 World Cup, matching Pauleta's scoring record in the process.
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Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Portugal overcame Sweden 3-2 in the second leg of the World Cup play-off, sealing a 4-2 victory on aggregate.
The goals took his national team tally to 47, alongside Pauleta on Portugal’s all-time list. However, the Real Madrid star says the achievements were all in a day’s work.
"Records are there to be beaten. It was not a priority," Ronaldo told Publico.
"I knew that Portugal needed me. I do not have to prove anything to anyone. I try to do my work and give answers on the pitch.
"I did my job for my team. It is the team who have to be congratulated. We suffered for sure but that is how great teams win things. We retreated a little [when Sweden scored], but then we were better and we played better."
Ronaldo also played down the hype surrounding his battle with Sweden’s talisman, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
"I do not compete against Zlatan," he said to TV4. "He is a fantastic player and [the] biggest star in Sweden, but I do not compete against him. I play for my team."
Ibrahimovic, though, believes the World Cup will be "nothing" in his absence as Sweden's hopes were dashed by Ronaldo's four goal in two games.
"It was probably the last attempt to reach the World Cup with the national team for me. One thing is for sure, a World Cup without me is nothing to watch so it is not worth while to wait for the World Cup," he said to his app Zlatan unplugged.
"Congratulations to Portugal, but both teams deserved to get to the World Cup. The disappointment of course is great now that the World Cup in Brazil will remain a dream for the Swedish national team."