Arrigo Sacchi believes that Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has superior solo skills to Lionel Messi, but that the Barcelona ace is a better team player.
With his perfect mix of physical and technical attributes, Ibrahimovic is widely regarded as one of the most gifted forwards in the game and has long wowed fans with his array of tricks and flicks.
However, Sacchi has suggested that the outspoken Ibrahimovic could learn something from four-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, who he feels has a better understanding of what it means to be part of a team.
“Ibrahimovic is one of the best,” the former AC Milan coach told Radio 2. “If football were an individual sport, I think that he would be superior to Messi.
“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.”
Ibrahimovic fired Paris Saint-Germain to a third successive Ligue 1 title last season, while Messi inspired Barcelona to a historic treble.
The pair previously played together at Camp Nou – but only for a season, with the Sweden international departing at the end of the 2009-10 campaign after falling out with then coach Pep Guardiola.