Rome, June 28 (IANS) One of Italy’s most successful coaches Arrigo Sacchi believes that Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has better individual skills in comparison to Argentine star striker Lionel Messi, but that the latter is a better team player.
Ibrahimovic is widely regarded as one of the most gifted and talented forwards in the modern game and has impressed fans for long with his bagful of tricks that he can deliver with the ball at his feet.
He is currently playing for French club Paris Saint-Germain after enjoying successful spells at Italian powerhouses Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Spanish giants FC Barcelona.
Sacchi is regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time and his AC Milan side (1987-1991) is widely regarded to be one of the greatest club sides to ever play the game. He also led Italy to the final of the 1994 World Cup but lost to Brazil in the title round.
“Ibrahimovic is one of the best, if football were an individual sport, I think that he would be superior to Messi,” Sacchi was quoted as saying by goal.com on Sunday.
The former AC Milan coach, however, believes that the Swedish International is way behind Messi interms of combining with his team players.
“This is a great strength of Ibra’s but also a limitation in terms of his connection with the other players.
“In my team at Milan, I had players like Marco van Basten and George Weah. Weah had greater potential than Van Basten in terms of technique, but Van Basten had a perfect connection with the team and that made his influence greater. He gave greater meaning to our football,” he said citing examples from the AC Milan side he coached in 1987 to 1991.
Ibrahimovic fired Paris Saint-Germain to a third successive Ligue 1 title last season, while Messi inspired FC Barcelona to a treble-trophy winning campaign.