Former Juventus coach Fabio Capello revealed he helped Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic improve his finishing by studying Dutch great Marco van Basten.
Ibrahimovic and Capello worked together at Juventus for two years from 2004 to 2006, winning back-to-back Serie A titles in Turin before both Scudettos were revoked due to the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal.
The Swedish star has since gone on to win trophies with Inter, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.
And reflecting on Ibrahimovic’s career, Capello said he transformed the 35-year-old in front of goal at Juve with some help from Van Basten – regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.
“Ibrahimovic had a stunning technique,” Capello has told Premium Sport.
“When I moved to Juventus, I immediately asked the club to sign him. I wanted to bring him to Roma in the previous campaign, but we had already [Francesco] Totti, [Antonio] Cassano, [Gabriel] Batistuta, [Vincenzo] Montella and [Marco] Delvecchio.
“At the beginning of his first spell at Juventus, however, I noticed that he was weaker than I thought when he had to kick the ball and was not very strong in the air.
“Ibrahimovic loved making assists more than scoring goals. I wanted him to become more ruthless in front of goal and improve his finishing.
“He had the same technical skills as Van Basten and I made him watch some videos of him to improve his finishing. I told him to watch Van Basten’s movements inside the area and the way he used to score goals. Ibra got it straight away; I think results are out there to prove it.
“He is a very humble guy and he worked every day to improve He’s proud of himself too, he loves being the best.”
Ibrahimovic, who has scored 400 career goals, is in his first season for United, netting six goals in 11 Premier League appearances so far.