Ronaldo Wants all Hands on Deck as Sweden Plots to Halt his Progress.

Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo says Portugal has a huge job at hand in order to scale Sweden’s hurdle into the group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Portugal maintains a 1-0 lead ahead of their European playoff match in Stockholm tonight.

The 28-year-old ex-World Footballer of the Year scored a diving header last Friday to hand Portugal their slender lead in the first leg of the World Cup qualifier Europe round two tagged: ‘The Clash of Two of the World’s Best Forwards’.

But Sweden have spent the week working on ways to get better service to Paris St Germain forward Zlatan Ibrahimovich.

Judas Versus Saviour: Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic Clash For 2014 World Cup Ticket
Judas Versus Saviour: Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic Clash For 2014 World Cup Ticket

Ronaldo said: “Portugal have a small advantage, and we are expecting a very difficult game, but we are ready.”

Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic have been nominated for the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or, but it’s obvious one of them will be missing out in Brazil.

“We will have to be fully focused. More than anything else, these players want to be in Brazil, so we will give our best to get there,” added Ronaldo.

Conditions for tonight’s decider could favour the hosts with temperatures close to zero forecast and less than optimum playing surface, however, Sweden’s Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson insists the Scandinavians must approach the match, conscious of the attacking prowess of Coach Paolo Bento’s side.

“We cannot go out all guns blazing but we must have a more attacking game with more ball higher up the pitch, then we will get Zlatan more in the game,” Larsson noted.

While the Swedish press have portrayed Ronaldo as ‘Judas’ against ‘Saviour’ Ibrahimovic, as both sides heaps pressure on referee Howard Webb to deal with the simulations of the two sets of players, Portugal boss, Bento, believes stopping the ex-Manchester United winger will only present the other players an opportunity to step up.

“If there is a special marking on Ronaldo that may give us an opportunity to score from other players and zones on the pitch,” Bento told a news conference on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s duel at the Friends Arena.