Zlatan Ibrahimovic Applauds Cristiano Ronaldo’s Hat Trick in Rare Display of Humility (Video)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s confidence often spills into the realm of arrogance. This comes as no surprise, as he’s one of world soccer’s best and highest-paid players.

But Ibrahimovic met his match on Tuesday — in the form of Cristiano Ronaldo – and could only recognize his greatness.

Ronaldo scored a second-half hat trick to power Portugal past Sweden in the final game of a World Cup qualification playoff series, which lived up to its billing as a duel between the two superstars.

Ronaldo struck five minutes into the second half to give Portugal some breathing room, but Ibrahimovic dragged Sweden back into contention by scoring twice in four minutes later in the half.

However, Ronaldo was only getting started. He scored two breakaway goals — in the 77th and 79th minutes — to put the series to rest.

Ibrahimovic could only applaud after watching his Portuguese counterpart finish his hat trick. The Swedish striker has been known to insult opponents’ mustaches and paltry salaries in the heat of battle, but he made a rare show of public humility after witnessing Ronaldo’s one-man show.

See Ibrahimovic’s moment of humility in the video below.

Click here to relive the Ronaldo-Ibrahimovic duel in our live blog>>

Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer or @mkomard, his Facebook page or NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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