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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TeamPGDPTS
1Real Madrid245260
2Barcelona245356
3Atletico Madrid242853
4Valencia242250
5Sevilla241245
6Villarreal241644
7Malaga24-138
8Celta Vigo24131
9Espanyol24-529
10Real Sociedad24-627
11Eibar24-827
12Athletic Bilbao24-1027
13Getafe24-1226
14Rayo Vallecano24-1726
15Deportivo La Coruna24-1824
16Almeria24-1723
17Elche24-2323
18Levante24-2522
19Granada24-2219
20Cordoba24-2018