Ted Lasso fans ‘work out’ real-life inspiration behind Zava

Ted Lasso: Jason Sudeikis stars in season three trailer

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Ted Lasso’s third season is already one of the biggest TV events of the year after the previous outing took Apple TV+’s uplifting comedy series in a surprisingly dark new direction. As plucky American coach Ted (played by Jason Sudeikis) struggles to keep his players’ spirits up, a new fan-favourite named Zava (Maximilian Osinski) could make or break the team.

Ted Lasso fans are convinced Richmond’s eccentric new striker is based on none other than Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Zava was introduced at the start of the new season as one of the world’s biggest players, comparable to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi within the show.

After a determined dressing down from the club’s owner Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham), Zava is convinced to join the team and help them give them a leg-up in the rankings.

Hopefully the gamble proves successful, and fans couldn’t help notice some striking similarities between him and Ibrahimovic when he made himself known in episode two.

On Twitter, Giovanni Del Fa insisted: “Zava is most definitely based off of Zlatan.

“The hair, voice and even the mannerisms are way too similar for it to be a coincidence.”

@JackBarnez put it more simply, writing: “Zava = Zlatan #TedLasso.”

@izzylegit_FPL tweeted: “Spoiler alert! So Zava is basically based on Zlatan, am I right?”

Nahla Bendefaa added: “I have a feeling the Zava/Zlatan parallel is gonna keep me well entertained this season.”

Josh Orcutt asked: “Zava is 100% a Zlatan joke, right?”

While @im_mash02 exclaimed: “BROO Zava HAS to be based off of Zlatan Ibrahimovic – it’s the only thing that makes sense!!”

Fans already seemed pretty convinced by the connection, although Ted Lasso’s producers haven’t confirmed just yet.

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Ibrahimovic currently plays for AC Milan as well as his home team of Sweden.

Some fans believe Zava’s eccentricities, which will become more prominent as the season goes on, could be poking fun at Ibrahimovic’s public persona.

He also bears more than a passing resemblance to the real-life player, both standing over six feet tall with a slim build, long hair and a goatee.

Zava’s signing could do wonders for AFC Richmond with his potential to dominate the field during their upcoming matches.

Unfortunately, his star power also comes with a huge ego, and there’s a chance he could turn the team against himself.

Meanwhile, Ted Lasso’s third season has already caused a stir by breaking up fan-favourite couple Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) and Keeley Jones (Juno Temple) off-screen.

Plus, Nathan Shelley (Nick Mohammed) is still waiting in the wings to cause Ted more grief as West Ham’s new coach.

Ted Lasso season 3 continues Wednesdays on Apple TV+.

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