CARSON, Calif. – “Different place, but same Zlatan.”
The LA Galaxy and Major League Soccer may be a new test for Zlatan Ibrahimović, but the Swedish soccer legend promises to deliver same approach that helped him build one of the most impressive professional careers in world soccer.
The Galaxy announced the signing of the 36-year-old on Friday, bringing in the talented center forward via Targeted Allocation Money. Ibrahimović joins the Galaxy following an illustrious 19-year career in Europe that saw him score more than 400 goals and win 33 trophies in leagues across the old continent.
“I decided to sign with the Galaxy because I think it’s the right place for me. I have a lot to give, I can help them a lot, and it’s the best team in the U.S. so there were no doubts,” Ibrahimović told LAGalaxy.com. “I have a lot of expectations. I put a lot of pressure on myself. I demand a lot in my game. I think I have a lot to bring and to give. With that experience I have, hopefully, it goes like I want and we can all share the happiness by winning.”
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Ibrahimović is the latest addition to a Galaxy squad that underwent a massive overhaul in the offseason after a disappointing 2017 campaign. He joins a loaded Galaxy attack that boasts many talents, including Romain Alessandrini, Giovani dos Santos, and Ola Kamara.
“I am very confident that we have good options, good depth and good players whose qualities complement each other,” head coach Sigi Schmid told LA Galaxy Insider. “Whereas a Kamara likes to run behind the defense, Ibra likes to get the ball to his feet.
“Though people talk about great players’ goals, whether it’s a Messi or Ronaldo, many of those guys are also great passers of the ball. And when you step on the field with Ibra, you know that if you make your run, he’ll find you.”
The Galaxy’s newest forward is expected to arrive in Los Angeles this week, and could be available for selection as early as the team’s March 31 clash with LAFC. Although an appearance next week would be Ibrahimović’s first since Dec. 26, the Swede pledges that he’s ready to contribute and help the Galaxy get victories, and ultimately, silverware.
“I feel good. I’m training very hard. I haven’t played games for a while, but that is what I miss now. I need to play games to go in that rhythm. The more I play, the better it will be. I’m just excited and looking forward for the games.
“I want to accomplish as much as possible. Wherever I went I won, so I’m coming with this objective. I come to win. I want to win. I think it’s my D.N.A. that I’m winning my trophies. It’s no luck, no special moment, it’s just me. Hopefully, I come with this and bring it with me for the next challenge.”