Wilfred Zaha has over the years gained the status of a cult hero for Crystal Palace. The Ivorian international began playing for the club in his youth and made his senior debut for the side in 2010.
After a few largely unsuccessful spells away from the London side at Manchester United and Cardiff City, Zaha made a return to Palace in 2015 and has since then grown into a vital part of the club’s plans.
Under current coach Patrick Vieira, Zaha has scored 12 times in the Premier League according to whoscored.com. Only Mo Salah, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane and Harry Kane have scored more goals than the Ivorian in the PL this season.
While Zaha has been enjoying a good season individually, his goals have surely helped Vieira turn around Palace’s form (after an initial struggle) and have also confirmed safety from relegation quickly.
His goal prowess and flair on the ball this season has now landed him a 92 overall rated FIFA Team of the Season card which was presented to the player recently during a Palace training session by officials from EA Sports.
The card includes 98 Pace, 97 Dribbling and 91 Shot all of which Zaha felt were reflective of his true quality, unlike his base 82-rated FIFA card. “This is my stats. Not the other nonsense,” remarked the Palace forward in the footage of the presentation on PalaceTV.
But it was not just Zaha who was enthusiastic about the rating as m Vieira took looked impressed with the statistics as he was spotted having a look at the card in the footage.
The highlight of the video was when Zaha was seen joking with his coach as the former suggested that the Arsenal legend would have had a torrid time defending against the Ivorian. “You yourself wouldn’t have been able to live with me,” stated Zaha to Vieira.
Having been a stellar defensive midfielder for Arsenal, Zaha’s remark is a reference to the difficult challenge Vieira posed to many attackers during his playing days. But the Frenchman was quick to find the funny side of things as he burst into laughter when he heard Zaha’s comment.
Palace fans would be delighted to see their manager and star share a lighter moment together off the pitch, whose efforts have resulted in a possible top-half finish for the club this season.