Thomas Ravelli sings Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s praises

Swedish goalkeeping legend Thomas Ravelli says Zlatan Ibrahimovic now has the mentality to go with his talent

By Chris Bailey
zlatan ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored 12 goals for PSG this term Photo: L Ochoa, via Wikimedia

zlatan ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic now has the mentality to go with his talent, insists Swedish goalkeeping legend Thomas Ravelli.

The 53-year-old watched the former Barcelona man Ibrahimovic’s four-goal masterclass against England at the opening of the Friends Arena last week.

Ravelli – capped 143 times by the Blågult – believes the striker’s excellent form is down to an improved mental approach and becoming a team man.

“Zlatan is in unbelievably good shape and at the peak of his performance now. At 31, he has the experience but mentally he is also in balance,” said Ravelli.

“He is one of the best players in the world and I think in these last six months he has been developing not only as a player but also as a human being.

“His game now involves his teammates more, while his weakness before was that maybe he was playing a little bit too much for himself.”

Ravelli admitted there was more of a touch of magic to Ibrahimovic’s overhead kick – but felt it was his best goal on the night.

He said: “My first thought when he was backing away from Joe Hart was that something like that could happen because the goal was open.

“But it takes an artist to make this – it is a very tough and hard thing to do even though it looks easy for us watching on TV.

“I think his second goal, his volley from Anders Svensson’s pass, was even nicer and prettier but the overhead kick was so spectacular.

“Still, it’s a goal that out of 100 chances maybe one would succeed so there’s some luck to it – you must not think about it.”

Ibrahimovic moved from AC Milan to cash-rich Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, where he has raced to 10 goals in 10 league games so far.

Although Ligue 1 is not considered one of Europe’s strongest leagues, Ravelli feels Ibrahimovic will benefit from leading an exciting new project.

“The French league is not as good as the Italian and the Spanish league but I don’t know so much about it,” he said.

“But I think it’s good for him to learn another language, another culture and so on and he can take more responsibility over the team as their biggest star.”

While Ibrahimovic is earning millions plying his trade abroad, Ravelli stayed in his home land bar one season in America with Tampa Bay Mutiny.

But, in a career which saw him collect nine league titles and a Swedish Cup to add to a third-placed finish at the 1994 World Cup, the goalkeeper has no regrets.

“If you go abroad it may be for a lot of things, but the main part is money,” said Ravelli.

“I got some offers from Turkey, Portugal and some English clubs also but in Gothenburg we had a great team, playing in the Champions League and meeting Bayern Munich in the quarter-final.

“But you can’t look back at that, that’s the way it was and I had a great career.”


MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

The Sport Review
Shanghai Masters 2017: Rampant Roger Federer downs Rafael Nadal for 94th career title
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
The Sport Review
Eden Hazard told he must step his game up at Chelsea this season
The Sport Review
Jose Mourinho told ‘quality’ Man United signing will shine at Old Trafford
The Sport Review
Jose Mourinho reveals exactly when 27-year-old will return for Man United