Zlatan Ibrahimovic is “coming back to Spain” according to an Instagram video post by the Swedish striker.
After two seasons in North American football league MLS playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy, Ibrahimovic looks destined to trade in Hollywood for La Liga once more. If you fancy a punt on Ibrahimovic and the teams in La Liga, read this article before you wager on the games in the Spanish top flight.
Ibrahimovic’s Instagram video was just four seconds long, yet it sent the football world into meltdown. The Galaxy had re-signed Ibrahimovic last winter to play the 2019 MLS season, now eliminated from the league’s playoffs, Ibrahimovic looks to have possibly played his last game for the team.
With the Ibrahimovic experiment possibly over in MLS, another marquee player may be heading elsewhere. If the Swede goes, what is Ibrahimovic’s MLS legacy?
Goals, Goals, Goals
MLS has long been a league with lacklustre defending but Ibrahimovic made many of the defences across the division look even more sub-standard. The 2019 season saw Ibrahimovic score 30 goals in 29 league games. The MLS Cup playoffs are nearing the final and expectations are rising for the match. Fans can find the latest betting offers and wager on the team they believe will win the final.
Ibrahimovic scored 22 MLS goals in 27 matches in 2018 as he accumulated a host of individual awards in North America. The Swedish striker wasn’t just a goalscorer but a creator as well. He contributed seven assists in each season since arriving. The Galaxy scored 58 goals in 2019 with Ibrahimovic being directly involved in 37 of them.
Insulting the league
Ibrahimovic hasn’t been kind to MLS since arriving often insulting the league. Like many players who have joined from major European leagues, Ibrahimovic has found MLS’s structure to be awkward. According to the LA Times, the striker recently torched “what was left of the bridge linking him to the league” by criticizing MLS’s playoff format, the level of play and most importantly, the officiating.
MLS is not a league that likes players who are divisive and Ibrahimovic is one of the most polarising players in football. After LA Galaxy lost to derby rival Los Angeles FC in the MLS Playoffs, Ibrahimovic arrogantly stated, “If I don’t stay, nobody will remember what MLS is”.
In 2018, Ibrahimovic took a massive pay-cut to join MLS. His first-year MLS salary was just $1.4 million, which was a 95% pay-cut from the previous season with Manchester United. Ibrahimovic’s second contract with MLS, which was signed last December, was an improvement and it made him the league’s highest-ever earner at $7.2m for one season. It is a deal that not many La Liga clubs could pay the goalscorer if he does return to Spain.
There is a belief that Ibrahimovic will be back in Los Angeles in 2020 as the Galaxy need him more than he needs them. Therefore, a deal will be worked out. Ibrahimovic has a plethora of personal sponsors and could simply have been promoting an upcoming sponsorship appearance in his Instagram video post.