Capello Talks Taming Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Describes Ronaldo as Greatest Player
Even lions have tamers, and legendary Italy coach Fabio Capello has claimed credit for moulding Zlatan Ibrahimovic into the player he is today, saying the Swede could not even shoot when he turned up at Juventus.
A fresh-faced Zlatan arrived in Turin from Ajax in 2004 with a blossoming reputation, albeit with reservations about the refinement of his game.
And Capello claims to be the one that polished him during their spell together at Juve as he rose to the summit of the game, Goal writes.
“When Ibrahimovic arrived at Juventus, he was not good at shooting,” Capello told Sky Italia.
“Mino Raiola said to me: ‘Zlatan is really strong, he breaks the hands of the goalkeepers’.
“I said to him: ‘Listen to me, for the moment he only broke the windows of the gym’.
“Then Ibrahimovic began to train every day and, obviously, as everyone knows, he improved a lot.”
The former England manager, who spent two years with Juve after leaving Roma, insists that he got on fine with Ibrahimovic, even if he can be a bit temperamental at times.
“I targeted Ibrahimovic when I was Roma coach,” he continues.
“Juventus made an incredible purchase, they bought him for €16 million payable in four payments. At Ajax they decided he would not be a great player. They preferred to keep Mido, who was easier to manage.
“Ibrahimovic also had some problems at Juve, for example with [Jonathan] Zebina, but then [Luciano] Moggi arrived and settled everything.”
Despite Ibra’s huge talents, Capello, who now works for Jiangsu Suning, insists he’s not the finest talent he has had the pleasure of working with.
“The best player I coached was Ronaldo.
“Unfortunately, I found him at the end of his career when he weighed 96kg. I asked him: ‘What was your weight at the 2002 World Cup?’. He told me 94. I replied: ‘Try at least to go back to 88kg’. Anyway, he was a great player.”
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