Fabio Capello: I told Zlatan Ibrahimovic that he was as good as Marco Van Basten

Fabio Capello has said that he told Zlatan Ibrahimovic that he was as good as Marco Van Basten when the pair were at Juventus together.

Speaking to FIFA.com, Capello spoke about his influence on Ibrahimovic’s development: “Ibra has an awful lot of natural talent and it’s not hard at all to turn someone that gifted into a goal machine. All it took was to explain a few things to him. The rest is down to training hard every day, which is something he’s always done. He always did a lot of work on his finishing.

“When he started out he could kick the ball very hard but the quality wasn’t quite there. He wasn’t that great in the air either, so what he did was practise his heading over and over. His game really came on as a result.

“I called him over one day and I said to him: ‘You’re as good as Marco Van Basten. You’ve got the potential to be right up there with him, but I’m going to show you how he did it.’ I had someone make a video with all Van Basten’s goals. I showed it to him and I said: ‘You never get close to goal. If you want to score, you have to get close to the opposition goal. You’re always far away. You have fun creating play and you’re great at setting up your team-mates, but if you want to be a goalscorer, you’re going to have to play closer to the area.’ He got the message very quickly.”

Now Russia manager, Capello has to look at Ibrahimovic as a direct threat as Sweden are group rivals in European Championship qualification. The former AC Milan boss, who coached Van Basten in the early 90’s, mentioned Ibrahimovic throughout the interview and spoke about his thoughts on Russia’s future prospects. You can read it by clicking here.

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