Cool Soccer Tricks: Zlatan Ultimate Control
For a superstar with an outsize personality like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, it’s even more important to back up the big talk with the skills and the effort on the pitch.
But it’s a mistake to think Zlatan’s success is down to talent alone. Like Ronaldo and Messi and before them, Beckham and Zidane, and all the way back to Bobby Charlton and Pele - all of them excellent trainers - his excellence was built through repetition, practicing touch and techniques over and over again until it came naturally even under the heaviest pressure.
For many of these greats, and especially for Zlatan, their poverty-stricken upbringings played a key role in their development. Football was everything to them; there really wasn’t any other escape route from their dire circumstances.
So hour upon hour was spent crashing a ball against a brick wall or playing in the streets, often long after dark with only street lamps for illumination.
Here, Paul Spacey shows you how to replicate the kind of drills that built Zlatan's incredible first touch. All you need is a ball and a wall.
The Player Behind the Move
Now 34, Zlatan may have all the trappings of fame but his success in football is a real rags to riches story.
Born in Sweden to a Bosnian father and a Croatian mother, he began playing at the age of six in one of Malmo’s toughest ghettos. In his early teens he was already a regular for Malmo FF but at the age of 15 he almost quit to work in the docks, so desperate was his family for money. His then manager persuaded his young star striker to change his mind and the rest is history.
From Ajax in Holland he moved on to Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and now PSG, scoring goals and winning trophies everywhere he went.
He is the only player to have scored for six different clubs in the Champions League and is widely considered to be one of the most complete footballers of his generation.
He has, however, found himself in trouble repeatedly throughout his career following clashes with teammates, managers, referees and opposition players, a byproduct perhaps of his hardscrabble childhood.
About the Video
Paul Spacey is well known and highly respected within the Los Angeles area as a youth soccer coach, ex-player and also as a referee. His coaching approach focuses heavily on developing individual technical skills while simultaneously improving tactical awareness and understanding responsibilities within the team.
His experience as a player, referee and coach gives him a pretty unique perspective on the game which he passes onto players in the form of a fun but intense coaching style which definitely brings the best out of everyone he works with.
Background and Experience
Youth Soccer Player – England (Stoke City FC)
Semi Professional Soccer Player – England (Nuneaton Town, Brackley Town)
Qualified and experienced FA (England) and USSF (United States) Referee
Founder of PaulSpacey.com – Online professional soccer coaching program worldwide
Author of 4 eBooks for coaches and referees – books translated into a number of different languages