Who is Zava based on? Which footballer is Ted Lasso character inspired by

Zava is played by Agents Of Shield actor Maximillian Osinski

Ted Lasso has shaken up the status quo with the arrival of a new star striker.

The hit Apple TV show returned for its third season this month and there has been plenty of change. Nate has taken over as West Ham manager, while Keeley has launched her own PR agency.

The series has primarily had the same cast around Jason Sudeikis’ Ted Lasso since the show’s inception in 2020 but the American coach and his team are now investing heavily to compete in the Premier League after their promotion in season 2.

Zava arrives at AFC Richmond in the second episode of the latest series and he is described as an extremely talented player who is a transfer target for some of Richmond’s biggest rivals including Chelsea and West Ham.

Whilst Zava is extremely talented there is an element of risk to the new signing and he is also described as having troublesome behaviour and a tendency to transfer from one club to another.

But who plays the role of Zava in Ted Lasso season 3 and is he based on a real life footballer?

Here is everything you need to know.

Who plays Zava in Ted Lasso season 3?

AFC Richmond’s new marquee signing Zava is played by Maximilian Osinski.

Osinski is an Austrian-born actor who is best known for his role in Marvel’s Agents Of Shield where he starred as Agent Davis between 2013 and 2020.

Zava has been compared to Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. (Getty Images)Zava has been compared to Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. (Getty Images)
Zava has been compared to Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. (Getty Images)

Osinski is also known for appearing in The Last Ship, The Nine Lives Of Claw, Greyhound and the Walking Dead spin-off World Beyond.

Away from the screen Osinksi is married to actress Diechen Lachman who starred alongside him in Agents of Shield. She has also appeared in Aquamarine, Bled, Lust for Love and Too Late.

The pair have one child, a daughter who was born in 2015.

Who is Zava based on?

While Ted Lasso’s Zava is a fictional character, fans have noticed that she shares a number of similarities with Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Both footballers are incredibly self confident and have a self assured nature while they both share similar names and often refer to themselves in the first person. The character Zava also has a similar top-knot hairstyle to the AC Milan striker.

Ibrahimovic is also known for moving to different clubs and he has played for a total of nine clubs over the course of his illustrious career. The Swedish forward has represented the likes of Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, PSG, Manchester United and La Galaxy before returning back to AC Milan for a second stint.

Ibrahimovic is viewed as one of the most talented forwards of his generation, he is Sweden’s all time record goalscorer with 62 goals and he is the only player to score in the Champions League with six different teams.