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Absence of Ronaldo or Ibrahimovic a 'huge loss', says Cruyff

The pair face off in a World Cup play-off tonight.

Image: Bruno Gonzalez/AP/Press Association Images

DUTCH LEGEND Johan Cruyff believes the 2014 FIFA World Cup will be poorer for the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo or Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Only one of Ronaldo or Ibrahimovic will have the opportunity to play at next summer’s showpiece in Brazil after Portugal and Sweden were drawn against each other in the European qualifying play-offs.

Cruyff, a three-time Ballon d’Or winner who was named player of the tournament at the 1974 World Cup, has expressed disappointment at the prospect of one of the world’s leading players missing out.

He told AD Sportwereld: “It is a huge loss for the world that one of these two will not be present. A nasty issue. It is unfortunate that fans have to miss one.”

Pressed on who he would prefer to see at Brazil, Cruyff added: “I’d rather Ronaldo, but that’s a bit from a tactical point of view, because otherwise I cannot show (up) in Spain.”

The first leg of Portugal and Sweden’s play-off tie takes place on Friday evening in Lisbon, with the return to be held in Solna four days later.

Poll: Who are you shouting for tonight – Ronaldo or Zlatan?

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