Zlatans Playing Style

Playing Style

Zlatan is 192 cm tall and powerfully built, and thus physical strength is one of his greatest assets. Since Zlatan arrived in Italy, he has become even stronger, since coach Fabio Capello, who is known to prefer physically strong players, ordered him to undergo a gym training program. It has been suggested by Zlatan himself that he might have added a couple of kilos too much, and that this contributed to the poor form in the spring of 2006.

Zlatan is, though, also known for his techical ability, and this unusual combination of technique and strength is what has taken him to the top clubs in Italy. None of the wondergoals described above could have been made by a less technically gifted player. He is also well known to be a good provider of spectacular assists.

His technique consists mainly in his great dribbling skills, but he can also shoot very hard, though not always accurate, and has taken free-kicks in both Inter and Juventus. He is also a good passer of the ball, though he sometimes seem to have concentration lapses and thus make simple mistakes. Zlatan is also quite fast, though this is rarely seen, as he prefers to meet the ball rather than try to beat the offside trap and run towards the opponents goal.

Zlatan is also thought to have a bad temper, resulting in a red card in the important game against Bayern Munich in November 2, 2005, and a two match suspension after head-butting present assistant coach Sinisa Mihajlovic in the match between Inter and Juve in April 17, 2005. He is also known to be quite a bad loser, never giving interviews after defeats. The flip side of this may be that he is a winning type, according to some.

He has during the past year been hevaily cricitized for the low numbers of goals he has scored. Zlatan has clearly a tendency rather to go for quality than for quantity when it comes to goals, which is not uncommon for technically gifted strikers. He rarely scores from inside the six-yard box, for example.

With his strength and height, he wins most aerial duels with defenders. He is not very good at scoring with his head, though, often mis-timing the ball.

In Sweden, Zlatan is often accused of laziness: that he does not work enough defensively. In Italy, where people never expected strikers to do much defensive work, this is less often heard. Another drawback he has is that concedes quite a few free-kicks, especially in Serie A where the referees whistle a lot. Sometimes, he runs offside quite a lot as well.

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