• World Cup play-offs

Zlatan: Sweden deserve Brazil berth

ESPN staff
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Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes Portugal are favourites for the play-off clash with Sweden © Getty Images
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Zlatan Ibrahimovic says Sweden deserve a World Cup place more than play-off opponents Portugal as they faced tougher opposition in their qualifying group.

While the Swedes clinched their play-off berth behind a formidable Germany side, Portugal were pipped to automatic qualification by Russia, and did not impress Ibrahimovic in the process.

"We're in the play-offs and we've done really well up to now. Portugal, with their team and individuals, are naturally favourites," Ibrahimovic told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"But we finished second in our group behind Germany, the best team in Europe. They finished second in a group they should have won. I think we deserve more to go to Brazil.

"As a national team, they are stronger. But if we manage to limit our mistakes, we can do it. It'll be difficult, but that's normal. It should be difficult to qualify for the World Cup."

The first leg of the World Cup play-off between Sweden and Portugal takes place this Friday at Benfica's Estadio da Luz.

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