Zlatan Ibrahimovic: I am the Best to Ever Play in the MLS

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By Martin Graham | 30th Apr 2022

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has declared himself the greatest to play in the Major League Soccer of the Americas while teasing a potential return to the league.

Ibrahimovic spent two years with Los Angeles Galaxy after two eventful years with Manchester United. It was thought that Ibrahimovic had moved to the MLS to prepare for his retirement but after one year (one and a half seasons), he returned to Europe with his former club AC Milan, where he still plays.

The 40-year-old has not had an easy return to Europe however, with injuries preventing him from making the kind of impact only he could. However, his return coincided with an upturn of fortunes for the club, who finished in second place last season, a big improvement from their sixth place finish the season before.

They are currently top of this season’s Serie A and on course to win the Scudetto after a decade.

Zlatan, who is currently injured, was speaking to ESPN when he reminisced about his last triumphant return from injury, which happened in the MLS.

The MLS made me feel alive again, Ibrahimovic says

The veteran Swede joined LA Galaxy after terminating his contract at Manchester United in March 2018. He had failed to make a full recovery after suffering a serious knee injury in November 2017 and decided to leave the club.

Ibrahimovic went on to score 53 goals in 58 appearances for the Galaxy in his time there but left empty handed. Still, the larger than life striker has declared himself the best to play in the league, but not before admitting that the league helped him rediscover his match form.

“I’m very happy. I’m very thankful for MLS because they gave me the chance to feel alive,” he told ESPN.

“But the problem was I was still too alive. So I was too good for the whole competition. That is what I showed. And I’m the best ever to play in MLS and that is not me having ego or trying to show off now. That is true.

“And when I was there, I enjoyed [it]. I had a good time. And I like the way they were working, the way they were doing the marketing stuff.

“And I think [playing in MLS] was the best way for me to come back after my injury. I was in the best condition ever. And I’m very proud I played for the MLS, because they were saying to me the stadiums are pretty empty when you play in that.

“There was no empty stadiums when I was playing. It was even overbooked, so I cannot complain, and I’m very happy I was there.”

Ibrahimovic teases MLS return

Ibrahimovic will be out of a contract at Milan in the summer and speculation of his retirement have made media rounds throughout the season.

When quizzed on his future, he teased a return to the MLS. “You never know – maybe one day I’ll come back,” Ibrahimovic said. “So to show them how, to give them a reminder what real football is.

“So it’s for two years. They get to see what real football is and I think they will never see something like that before. Maybe I come back and have my own club – you’ll never know.”

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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