Madrid: Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic had soccer pundits purring on Sunday but not because of the goal that gave the champions a 1-0 win at Real Mallorca on the previous evening to put the champions top of La Liga.
It was a piece of rarely seen improvisation that caught the eye and prompted praise for the way the Swede creates space and scoring chances for his team mates.
Pedro sent over a deep cross from the right and Ibrahimovic, seeing Lionel Messi in space behind him, used his back to direct the ball into the Argentina forward`s path.
Although Messi fired his first-time shot over the bar, Marca daily dubbed the move by the former Inter Milan striker "an amazing trick".
Juan Cruz, a columnist in AS, said Ibrahimovic`s play created space that his predecessor Samuel Eto`o, who went to Inter in a swap deal with Ibrahimovic last summer, would have been unwilling to relinquish.
"Generosity probably doesn`t feature very highly in Ibrahimovic`s character but he certainly plays in a way that opens up space that allow his team mates to penetrate more easily," Cruz wrote.
"Lionel Messi`s game has improved with Ibrahimovic on the pitch," he added.
The Swede himself said in a television interview after the Mallorca game it was a shame Messi had failed to score.
"It would have been sweet," he said with a shrug.