The Standout Inbetweener; Zlatan Ibrahimović | A Legend That Transcends Era’s

Zlatan(Auditions)Zlatan(G)

#TheHistorian

In an age where every generation seems to be blessed with its fair share of diversely gifted attacking talents, cut from a different cloth, and playing football with a grace that seems to constantly defy so many other lesser talented players; the most painful thing about hearing someone mention their top 5 best strikers of the last decade, is having to cringe at the constant omission of one name, Zlatan Ibrahimović. Zlatan is a true rebel in an age of conformists, a natural born striker capable of conjuring sheer magic with a football, or a piece of bubblegum.

The Zlatan can be said to have been largely unfortunate to have been doing such wonders at the end of the Raúl, Ronaldo, Alessandro Del Piero , Andriy Shevchenko, Samuel Eto’o, Michael Owen and Thierry Henry years; while his career also spanned into the dawn of another golden age, where the outrageous talents of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robin van Persie, Sergio Agüero, David Villa, Robert Lewandowski and Luis Suárez have rightfully been the centre of all football related conversations in terms of premier level goalscorers and forwards. Sweden’s all-time leading goalscorer, with 62 goals, Zlatan deserves special mention for remaining true to his unique skill-set, and ensuring that his arrogance rather fuelled his drive, instead of it hampering the realisation of his unlimited potential; a league champion, and lethal marksman, in every country he has played in, all while having rejected the chance to trial for Arsenal with the lure of developing under the wing of legendary youth development expert Arsene Wenger as a teenager, rebuffing the offer with a simple statement, “No way, Zlatan doesn’t do auditions’, prior to signing for another club steeped in a culture of nurturing young talent, AFC Ajax.

Zlatan Ibrahimović is a man in a class all by himself, one I would never dare to compare to any player in any era, for obvious reasons; not enough will ever be written about one of the greatest strikers ever to play the game of football, which is saying quite a bit, when we consider all that has been writ about him since his teenage years. The legacy of the man can never be truly quantified in words, because “gratefully-enigmatic” and “gracefully-eclectic” do not begin to describe him in his entirety, his impressive career numbers, in various elite level leagues, would quickly be surpassed in the near future, when we look at the career trajectory of the Messi’s, Cristiano’s and Neymar’s of this world; yet a goal getter that became the first man to score for six different clubs in Europe’s most elite competition, the UEFA Champions League, while also having been on a streak of nine straight league title wins in three different countries, with four different clubs of high esteem, has to go down as a genuine legend of the game in both the era’s he thrived in.

The brilliance of Zlatan Ibrahimović, is that he managed to work himself into the history books of football in a time when world-class forwards were playing the beautiful game the way it ought to be played, beautifully; his ability to shine amongst such fierce competition is highly laudable, considering how he could easily have been the premier striker in a different age. Since his arrival at Ajax Amsterdam in 2001, as a promising young player, from Malmö FF in his country of birth, Sweden, Ibracadabra has woven his magic in the elite leagues of Europe terrorising defenders and ‘keepers alike, all while displaying his skills against some of the most lethal goal scorers to ever play the game of football; the cream truly rises to the top, and Zlatan has remained at the top of his game throughout his career. The fact that he netted the bulk of his goals, 148 in all competitions for Juventus, A.C. & Inter Milan, in one of the toughest defensive leagues ever, the Italian Serie A, is a living testament to the deadliness of the man; any striker that can net over 100 goals in Italy deserves to be recognised as a truly great finisher, and a pretty good forward to boot.

Zlatan has mastered his craft, a player who actually got to fully develop his game and truly fall in love with his skills, in the midst of the media frenzy that has surrounded him since his formative years, something we’ve seen countless talented lads continually fail to do; The Zlatan will surely retire from playing professional football sooner rather than later, now that he is at the end of his peak as an elite level striker, and entering the twilight years of his glorious career, although 3 Golden Boot awards in his 4 Ligue 1 seasons shows that he is still an asset upfront for any team. The true legacy of Zlatan Ibrahimović should not be understated, nor should the demeanour of the man be misunderstood or used against him when speaking on his greatness, or his illustrious career.

The arrogance comes from an understanding of one’s true abilities, and a burning desire to make the utmost of those gifts; the outrageous God given abilities aside, the swagger of a Michael Jordan on the court, the nerves of a Roger Federer in a tournament final, the desire to constantly achieve greatness of a Tony Hawk regardless of the conditions & the confidence in self of a Muhammad Ali regardless of the circumstances or the opposition, all point to a man with the makeup of a true champion, and an all round legend of the sport we all love. There may never be another player as talented, confident and enigmatic as The Zlatan has been, and I am honestly happy with those odds; Bob’s your Grandmothers last born son, the world has been blessed enough to have had one Zlatan Ibrahimović, the foremost football inbetweener, living proof that a well balanced mixture of confidence & arrogance can always fuel undoubted ability, when channelled right.

Ball Don’t Lie (The Numbers)

Club Spell/s Appearances Goals Assists Goal Ratio
Malmö FF September 1999 – July 2001 40 16 N/A 0.4
AFC Ajax July 2001 – August 2004 108 47 15 0.4
Juventus F.C. August 2004 – August 2006 92 26 6 0.3
Inter Milan August 2006 – July 2009 117 66 30 0.6
FC Barcelona July 2009 – June 2011 47 22 14 0.5
A.C. Milan August 2010 – May 2011 (Loan) & June 2011 – July 2012 85 56 24 0.7
Paris Saint-Germain F.C. July 2012 – July 2016 180 156 61 0.9
Totals   669 389 150 0.6
Advertisements

GSV Wunderkind Watching; The Keen Kingsley Coman

KingsleyComan(Bayern)
An FC Hollywood Starlet On The Rise | Kingsley Coman #29
KingsleyComa(Juve)
Donning The Colours of the Bianconeri | Kingsley Coman #11

Wunderkind

: a child prodigy; also :  one who succeeds in a competitive or highly difficult field or profession at an early age

: someone who achieves success or shows great talent at a young age

The transition from playground hero to global superstar is one that only a lucky few get to undergo & complete; child prodigies can be found in every crevice of the globe, yet one does not always get to witness a child prodigy excel at a competitive level and show signs of great promise at a tender age, as gaffers are often under pressure to get immediate results and predictably punt for more seasoned pro’s as they seek to attain some much needed job security. Football remains one of the greatest tests of talent in the modern age, a field where hard work beats talent, when talent refuses to work hard and having talent alone is not enough to truly flourish in the craft. With measured development and sound off-field guidance, a wunderkind can develop into a world-class footballer with the gifts and aptitude to excel at the highest level; wunderkinder do not always become the true stars that their potential levels would have suggested they’d develop into, yet that will not hinder us from watching the best u/20 lads in the game and giving you an informative, enlightening and educational scouting report as our Talent Scout packs his binoculars and goes Wunderkind Watching.

#TheTalentScout

Kingsley Coman

Bio

DoB: June 13th, 1996 (19)

PoB: Paris, France

Nationalities: French, Guadeloupean

Caps & Goals: 2 Senior Caps {(u/16, 9 Caps), (u/17, 8 Caps & 3 Goals), (u/18, 6 Caps & 1 Goal), (u/19, 7 Caps & 2 Goals), (u/21, 9 Caps & 2 Goals)

Position/s: Winger, Inside Forward, Advanced Playmaker, Attacking Midfielder, Advanced Forward, Trequartista (Left, Right, Centre)

Preferred Foot: Right

Club: FC Bayern Munich (On 2 season-long loan from Juventus)

Club Jersey No: #29

Development Academies: US Sénart-Moissy, Paris Saint-Germain

Former Clubs: Paris Saint-Germain B, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus

Career Club Appearances & Goals: 46 Games, 6 Goals & 9 Assists

Talent Scout Report

Mental: One of the biggest critiques regarding many talented protégés today, is their seemingly diminished desire to truly fulfil their potential and earn the right to be talk about amongst the genuine legends of the craft that is football; Kingsley Coman is one player that would seem to defy that growing trend of young players that become complacent before they even complete their development, a young footballer that leaves two title winning sides with the view of improving himself as a footballer is one that deserves to be credited for his determination to truly succeed at the highest level. Coman could easily havechosen to bide his time at PSG or Juve, picking up medals and waiting for an opportunity to regularly display his talents, yet the lad knew that he could make a tangible contribution to the success of a great football club while still continuing his own personal development; that determination translates onto his on-field game as he runs his socks off on both ends of the pitch and offers an intangible quality that many young footballers today should aspire to possess.

His anticipation of spaces on the pitch seems to improve with increased game-time, and his high work-rate makes him an asset in the counter-pressing game as he knows how to use his physical gifts to the benefit of his team; the opportunity to have played in title winning teams and trained alongside world – class players seems to have improved his overall reading of match situations and his exposure to such environments has improved his big match temperament drastically in a matter of years.

For such a technically gifted player, the next critique could sound preposterous; yet Kingsley can sometimes lack the creativity to dig deep into his bag of tricks and unlock compact defences with more definitive moments of magic, his end product is often hampered by a perceived lack of ability to be composed and play the obvious killer pass or execute a direct run that leads to a converted attacking opportunity.

Physical: Blessed with bags of pace and the athleticism of a premier athlete, Kingsley could develop into an offensive marvel once his overall game is completely balanced and developed; it’s one thing for a footballer to have good pace, yet the Thierry Henry’s of this world have proven to us that great pace becomes deadly when its fused with outstanding balance and almost catlike agility. Coman is a physically outstanding specimen with even more room to develop and grow to the level where he can use his physical gifts as an addition to his already heavily fitted offensive arsenal; that combination of pace and power makes him a threat when he has the ball at his feet, yet the lad can also use his physicality to hold the ball up and prove hard for opposition defenders to disposes.

Technical: Of all his technical gifts, Kinglsey’s first touch allows all his other abilities to come to the fore far more naturally, the ability to control a football is largely overlooked these days and many young players are rushed to learn how to work the ball before mastering the art of controlling it and keeping it under a spell for long enough to weave some magic. If top European sides have learned anything from the success they have enjoyed at the elite level, it’s that there remains little defence for attacking players that can take on defenders and eliminate opponents to create room to attack in against more compact defences that look to play on the break; Coman’s direct running ability and dribbling technique easily mark him out as an offensive superstar in the making, the lad has the ability to keep fans on their feet with mazy runs that often leave defenders tied up in knots.

Although we have discussed his need for an improved end product, the natural gifts are there to be nurtured with time; a powerful long rang shooter with some venom in both pegs, Coman could bag his fair share of goals & assists with more attention to his final delivery or final action at the end of yet another good offensive run. While he seemed to be a handy finisher an youth level, Kingsley has only begun to show glimpses of what he can contribute to a team in the final third of the pitch; his own rawness may be to attribute for those shortcomings, yet the lad could develop into a great offensive weapon that can play anywhere in attack and still add immense quality.

GSV Potential Meter: 5/5 Tsamaya’s