Zlatan Ibrahimovic recently completed a move to the LA Galaxy of Major League Soccer in what was not a major surprise for many football fans. Ibrahimovic soon confirmed the news himself in the most Zlatan way possible in the LA Times.
In the following days, Ibrahimovic created promotional videos and held press conferences, making comical statements such as: “LA, welcome to Zlatan” and “The lion is hungry”. His best quote had to be his self-comparisons to the fictional character Benjamin Button to play down age concerns.
The excitement around Los Angeles could not have been any higher, since Ibrahimovic’s arrival came just before the first ever game between the Galaxy and the newly formed side Los Angeles FC in a matched titled #ElTrafico (if you’ve ever driven in Los Angeles, you understand).
Following a serious knee injury late last season and a lack of match action in his final months at Manchester United, Ibrahimovic started on the bench as a precaution. When he finally went in as a substitution in the 71st minute, his side was losing 3-1 to their new crosstown rivals.
After helping his team haul one goal back, Ibrahimovic scored two goals himself in dramatic fashion to win the game. Ibrahimovic proved, once again, that he could back up his words and show everyone that he can still produce thrilling goals.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 31, 2018
— ManUnitedZone (@ManUnitedZone_) March 31, 2018
Soon afterwards, Ibrahimovic had everyone talking.
I was gonna take a nap but I just had to change my underwear.
OMG. What a golazo from the 🦁.#zLAtan
— Alejandro Bedoya (@AleBedoya17) March 31, 2018
Oh my. #zLAtan
— Alexi Lalas (@AlexiLalas) March 31, 2018
— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) March 31, 2018
Hahaha! Zlatan’s just done it again?! Brilliant
— Sid Lowe (@sidlowe) March 31, 2018
I love that so much. Thank you #zLAtan
— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) March 31, 2018
Zlatan just Made America Great Again…in 14 minutes.
— Jeb Brovsky (@JebBrovsky) March 31, 2018
‘I heard them shouting “We want Zlatan! We want Zlatan!” … so I gave them Zlatan.’ 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/rmvYsCL8Dt
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 31, 2018
Even his agent had some fun with it:
— Mino Raiola (@MinoRaiola) March 31, 2018
The Swedish striker has now improved his debut record by scoring in his first games in Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1, Premier League, Champions League and now the MLS.
According to Google trends, the 36-year-old Ibrahimovic reached peak popular interest around the globe after the game ended. From his native country of Sweden being the most popular search, all the way to countries like Pakistan and Japan.
After the game Ibrahimovic told reporters: “I can imagine LAFC winning 3-0 then losing 4-3 so it’s not easy. But if they hd Zlatan it would be the opposite.”
Never change Zlatan. Never change.
Lights, camera, ZLATAN pic.twitter.com/SOO9TN6T5B
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 31, 2018
Feature Image: Flickr