Ibrahim Afellay to play 'Zinedine Zidane role'

Ibrahim Afellay
© PA Photos
Netherlands boss Bert van Marwijk hints that Ibrahim Afellay will fill the 'Zinedine Zidane role' at Euro 2012.

Netherlands boss Bert van Marwijk believes that Ibrahim Afellay can fill the 'Zinedine Zidane role' at Euro 2012.

The 26-year-old is regularly deployed in a wide position for Barcelona, but the Dutch boss has hinted at a different role for the attacker.

"One of the best ever No.10s, Zidane, always played at Real Madrid coming in from the left. In their hearts, they all want, ideally, to play as a 10 - the Van der Vaarts, the Sneijders and the Afellays," Van Marwijk told Algemeend Dagblad.

"But if you play in the centre, you often have to play with your back to your opponent. [Afellay] has shown that he is excellent in that role for the Oranje.

"But on the wing is different, and you can go either way. You can go inside or outside the opponent and give a pass. Afellay has to be convinced."

The Netherlands begin their Euro 2012 campaign against Denmark on June 9.

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1Real Madrid21164156183852
2Barcelona23156263194451
3Sevilla23154446281849
4Atletico MadridAtletico23136443192445
5Real Sociedad2313283632441
6Villarreal23109430151539
7EibarEibar2310583631535
8Athletic Bilbao2310582828035
9Celta Vigo2210393636033
10Espanyol238873031-132
11AlavesAlaves237972228-630
12Las PalmasLas Palmas227783133-228
13Real Betis2266102235-1324
14Malaga225892936-723
15Valencia2265113140-923
16Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo2247112635-919
17Leganes2346131639-2318
18Sporting GijonSporting Gijon2344152547-2216
19Granada2337132149-2816
20Osasuna2317152452-2810