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15.02.2010 16:39

Ibra gets 7 out of 12 from first touch

Marc Guillén

Seven of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s twelve goals have come from first touch strikes, including the one that made it 2-1 at the Calderon.

Ibrahimovic is renowned for his ability to strike the ball first time, and his amazingly sharp reactions are the reason for such impeccable goals as the one he scored from a corner last night at the Calderon. His is a skill that very few footballers have mastered to such a high level.

Lethal weapon

2009-12-02_PARTIDO_27.JPGHe latched straight onto an Abidal assist in La Coruña and knocked the ball home with his instep before the defenders had had time to think. At Jerez and at the Camp Nou against Atlético, the Swede had no need to control the ball before lobbing the keeper with the kind of ability reserved only for the elite players of this game.

All these seven goals came off his right foot, apart from the one he treasures the most, his scorcher against Real Madrid when he found the net following an Alves cross. He also scored with his first touch against Zaragoza and Getafe, on both occasions stretching out a leg to meet the ball in the six yard box.

Controlling only once
Strictly speaking, four of Ibrahimovic’s other goals were from the first touch too. He scored headers against Sporting and Santander, which, by nature, involves no controlling of the ball with the feet. It may be going too far to also count his penalty against Espanyol or his free kick against Zaragoza as ‘one touch’ goals, because such dead ball situations belong in a different category altogether.

However, it is curious to note that the only league goal Ibra has scored in which he controlled the ball before shooting was against Malaga, although even then, he only touched the ball once to control it before driving it into the back of the net.
Ibra gets 7 out of 12 from first touch
Three decisive goals
Of the seven goals Ibrahimovic has scored with his first touch, three changed the changed the course of the match by breaking the deadlock. These were against Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid at the Camp Nou, and one at Getafe. It is clear that Ibra’s ability to shoot early is benefitting Barça in the form of decisive match-winning goals.

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