Zlatan Ibrahimović

Ibrahimovic declares himself the greatest ever MLS player: 'I was still too alive'

5:31 PM GMT 29/04/2022
Zlatan Ibrahimovic LA Galaxy MLS
The 40-year-old has also hinted that he could return to the United States one day

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has declared himself the “best player to ever play in MLS” and claimed he was “too good for the whole competition” during his two-year spell with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Ibrahimovic scored 53 goals in 58 appearances for the Galaxy over two seasons between 2018 and 2019 before returning to Milan in Serie A.

Despite leaving Galaxy empty handed, with the club failing to make the play-offs in 2018 before losing in the Western Conference semi-finals the following year, Ibrahimovic still thinks his impact warrants him the number one position.

What did Ibrahimovic say about his time with LA Galaxy?

Ibrahimovic joined the Galaxy in March 2018 after his contract at Manchester United was terminated early.

The then 36-year-old had only just returned from a serious knee injury the previous November and says the move across the Atlantic helped him regain full match fitness.

"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 does not rule out MLS return

Ibrahimovic is still playing at the highest level despite being the age of 40, though injuries have limited him to 24 appearances for Milan in all competitions so far this season.

His contract expires in the summer and there had been speculation he could retire - something he emphatically denied earlier this month.

When quizzed on his future, the former Sweden striker did not rule out a return to the United States, either as a player or following in David Beckham’s footsteps and buying a franchise of his own.

"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."

Further reading