Swedish legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic refuses to quit football before going out on a high note. MLS is his playground now.
Only legends like Zlatan Ibrahimovic choose to quit football on a high note, on his terms and whenever he wants. Only legendary players can come back from a nasty knee ligament injury and return in their full capacity, Brazilian Ronaldo did it and Ibra is doing it all over again before he retires. The 36-year old wants to quit on his terms, he wants to do it on a high note and he wants his swan song to be as legendary as his name has become throughout the years. Football will never be the same after Zlatan retires, which is why I try to tune in the MLS every week to watch the last football games we will ever see of this all-time great. During his long-lived incredible career, ‘Ibracadabra’ redefined football scoring and transformed it into art with the unique acrobatic finishing skills that he could improve every season thanks to his passion for martial arts and plasticity. At his best, watching Zlatan in any match meant you could expect something magnificent that would become world news overnight. This Swedish striker became one of the most celebrated players in recent football memory, he did it in the Messi/Ronaldo era which is even more impressive.
Knee ligament injury and Zlatan’s goodbye to European football.
At the top of his game playing for Manchester United, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was about to experience his biggest challenge yet and we bet he didn’t expect it to arrive this late in his career. A nasty knee cruciate ligament injury forced him to quit the game for the better part of a year during a Europa League match with Manchester United, Zlatan was completing yet another outstanding season with the Red Devils in which he scored a staggering 29 goals in a single season playing for Jose Mourinho’s squad. But that injury kept Ibra from finishing an already impressive season that ended with him winning the Europa League and the League Cup, his next challenge was to get back to his best form and attempt to play at the highest level of English football once again. But this was a test that even mighty Zlatan wasn’t able to endure, he knew his career was over in Europe and the man started looking for other countries to conquer.
Old man Zlatan takes the MLS by storm.
Ibra’s agent Mino Raiola had quite a few offers for Zlatan that were both juicy and challenging, but none convinced him more than playing for the MLS with LA Galaxy. From a marketing point of view, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s arrival in the United States was an instant hit, he appeared on talk shows across the US and helped uneducated Americans what a true world-class athlete looks like. But all those television presentations and marketing stunts were just the tips of the iceberg of what the MLS fans were about to experience, no one was ready for Zlatan over there. The rest of the world knew perfectly the player he is, but people in America barely recognized him on the streets and his first match was the impact no one was expecting from a 36-year old unfamiliar player who just came to retire. Little did they know, Zlatan only needed a few minutes to make his impact and scored a brace with a screamer included that made everyone turn their heads.
Suddenly the Zlatan-mania had taken over the entire MLS, seventeen games later this old man has already scored 15 goals and is only improving his game despite the knee injury he just recovered from. The season will be difficult for both Zlatan and LA Galaxy, but the way he is playing right now is a testament to what an all-time great looks like in the final stage of his career. There is no way Ibra will accept hanging up his boots without lifting a trophy in the MLS with LA Galaxy, he has already won the hearts of the Galaxy fans and his next target is all of the United States soccer following. When he retires, FIFA should honor him and change the Puskas Award name to the Zlatan Ibrahimovic award because no one scores the types of goals the way only he can. All you can do with a player like him is sit back and enjoy, but don’t forget to stand up and clap by the end because if you don’t, the ‘Zlatan’ will come to get you.
What’s the fondest memory you have of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s career? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.