Zlatan Ibrahimović: I wasn't applauding Cristiano Ronaldo | inside World Soccer

Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimović has denied reports he applauded Cristiano Ronaldo during Tuesday's World Cup play-off 3-2 defeat to Portugal.

Zlatan Ibrahimović is pictured clapping following Cristiano Ronaldo's third goal against Sweden
Zlatan Ibrahimović is pictured clapping following Cristiano Ronaldo's third goal against Sweden

Photo: YouTube

Footage from the game appeared to show Ibrahimović clapping his hands after Ronaldo scored his third goal of the game to effectively end Sweden's World Cup ambitions.

This was taken as a rare moment of the great Swede acknowledging the brilliant display of his opponent.

However, the Paris Saint-Germain striker wanted to make it very clear that was not the case.

Ibrahimović told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "Was I applauding Ronaldo? No, I was just trying to encourage my teammates.

"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."

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