Los Angeles FC vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring on his LA Galaxy debut


LA Derby: Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores two late goals to lift Galaxy 4-3 LAFC

Former Manchester United superstar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his Galaxy in the first ever ‘El Trafico’, reportedly named for the city’s ultra-busy freeways. LAFC went ahead when Carlos Vela scored twice in the first 30 minutes, and Galaxy were behind 3-0 just after half-time when Daniel Steres deflected the ball past his own goalkeeper. Galaxy’s Sebastian Lletget scored in the 61st minute. Ibrahimovic took the field and assisted in Galaxy’s second as his cross was deflected and fell to Emmanuel Boateng, who set-up Chris Pontius’s header. In the 77th-minute the ball dropped to Ibra at around 40 yards out and he kicked a dipping shot over LAFC goalie Tyler Miller into the back of the net. Ibrahimovic was booked for tearing off his shirt as he wildly celebrated his equalizer. Ashley Cole scooped the ball across the six-yard area and Ibrahimovic headed home the match winner.

Trailing by two goals with less than 20 minutes to play Saturday, the Galaxy fans began chanting the name of the team's new football player. Zlatan Ibrahimovic took off his warmups, strode toward the midfield stripe, and was subbed into the game.

"The fans were demanding something," Ibrahimovic said. "And I gave them Zlatan."

Reportedly Ibrahimovic turned down a $100 million offer from China in favor of completing a two-year $3 million contract with LA Galaxy.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has attained instant popularity with LA Galaxy fans after the superstar Swedish striker scored on his debut and was key to the Galaxy’s victory against their cross-town rivals after only one full day on the job. Zlatan Ibrahimovic marked his MLS debut with two goals. Ibrahimovic scored a stunning first goal for LA Galaxy before heading in the stoppage-time winner in a 4-3 victory over local rivals LAFC. Ibra made his MLS debut on Saturday and scored to seal Galaxy’s 4-3 victory in the first-ever Los Angeles Derby against cross-city rivals LAFC after coming back from being 3-0 down. It took only 19 minutes to establish his MLS legend as he inspired his side after coming on as a sub in the 71st minute for his LA Galaxy debut with his team being 3-1 down. Ibra quickly scored a brilliant long goal that went over the goalkeeper from 40 yards out. He went on to score the winner in added time. To date, Ibrahimovic has scored in his first appearance in MLS, EPL, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1, and the Champions League.

Los Angeles FC vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

Former Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic competed in the first ever Los Angeles Derby between the Galaxy and LAFC coming into the match off the bench in the 71st minute, with LA Galaxy trailing 3-1. His two goals -- one from 40 yards out -- inspired the Galaxy to a 4-3 victory on Saturday in LA.

Thirty-six-year-old Swedish soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic became one of Europe's top strikers while starring for eight consecutive title-winning clubs, and historically he scored on his debut for each club. Born on October 3, 1981, in Malmö, Sweden, Ibra developed into a tall, agile athlete with an obvious talent for playing soccer. Ibrahimovic has played for clubs in Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, England and currently the United States, nabbing multiple scoring titles while leading his teams to eight consecutive league championships.

Los Angeles FC vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

Ibra made his pro debut for Malmö FF in 1999 and helped the second-division club move up to the Allsvenskan league’s first level the following season. Malmö is now the most successful football club in Sweden in trophies won, and the only Northern European club to have reached the final of the European Cup. Ibrahimovic then signed with the titan Dutch club AFC Ajax and honed his talent and formidable skills as part of two title-winning teams. After four years with Ajax, the powerful 6'5" striker transferred to Serie A club Juventus and led the Italian giants to two Serie A league championships. Juve was stripped of those titles when club management was charged with fixing matches in the infamous Calciopoli scandal, and Ibra transfered to rival Serie A club Inter Milan. More success followed for the giant striker, who won three straight Serie A titles and claimed his first league scoring crown in 2009. Traded to Barcelona for Samuel Eto'o in 2009, Ibrahimovic starred for a talented Spanish club that earned a league title and Super Cup trophies, but he and Barca manager Pep Guardiola did not get along, and Ibra spent the following season on loan to A.C. Milan. The Italian club purchased his contract outright for 2011-12 and Ibrahimovic claimed his second scoring La Liga crown, although his stunning run of eight straight seasons on a title-winning club came to an end. After transferring to PSG in 2012, the veteran striker claimed a third scoring title with a career-high 30 goals and leading the club to its first Ligue 1 title in 19 years. Moving on to Manchester United in 2016, Ibrahimovic helped the English club win the 2017 UEFA Europa League Final. He returned the following season but did not play due to a knee injury. In March 2018, United confirmed it had terminated the veteran player's contract, allowing him to move to join the L.A. Galaxy in the U.S.

"Great things also come to an end and it is time to move on after two fantastic seasons with Manchester United. Thank you to the club, the fans, the team, the coach, the staff and everybody who shared with me this part of my history, said Ibrahimovic."

Los Angeles FC vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

Prior to Ibra joining Galaxy, the LA side had scored 3 goals in their first 3 games. Galaxy scored 3 in the 20 minutes he was on the field to rally past the Los Angeles Football Club 4-3. Ibrahimovic scored 2 of the 3, the first an improbable score-tying 40-yard volley and the second a game-winning header 10 seconds into stoppage time.

"Today Zlatan was doing Zlatan things," Galaxy striker Ola Kamara said. "I'm never surprised by Zlatan."

"Oh my God, I'm still at loss for words," said midfielder Sebastian Lletget, who scored the Galaxy's first goal. "I don't even know what just happened."

Ibra began the match on the bench after having only one brief training session before Saturday's inner-city rivalry. He watched LAFC run roughshod over Galaxy who were without all three of their designated players, Romain Alessandrini and brothers Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos, who have hamstring injuries. Galaxy didn't put a shot on goal in the first 45 minutes, while LAFC's Carlos Vela scored two. The lead went to 3-0 three minutes after the break when Marcos Urena bounced a ball off the left foot of Galaxy defender Daniel Steres and into the goal.

"Obviously, he came in and rewarded us." Said LA Galaxy manager Sigi Schmid about Ibra’s debut.

Ibrahimovic, 36, last match was 45 minutes for Manchester United more than three months ago. Coming on as a sub late in the game he took advantage of the third time he got the ball collecting a loose ball on a big bounce and sending a hard shot over goalkeeper Tyler Miller to tie the score in the 77th minute. Caught up in the moment, Ibrahimovic ripped his jersey off and danced the 40 yards to the goal line where he was engulfed by his teammates, but was given a yellow card for excessive celebration. He wasn't done this time though. Then ten seconds into stoppage time, he split two defenders and beat Miller to an Ashley Cole cross, heading in the winning goal.

"I felt I played 40 games for my 20 minutes," Ibrahimovic said. "I did the first sprint and I was starting to breathe hard immediately. So I said this time I shoot, I don't run with the ball. It was difficult to describe. I was getting the — how do you say? — the chicken skin, goose bumps, from the third goal we scored. The fourth was even more crazy because you are winning the game. After that I was like 'just stop the game now'."

"It was hot. Trust me," said Ibra. "After 10 minutes I was asking for some cream. I was burning."

Watch Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s former clubs Manchester United, Ajax, Juventus, Paris Saint Germain, Barcelona, and AC Milan compete in live action in the England Premier League, French Ligue 1, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A. Buy 150% guaranteed Manchester United tickets, Ajax tickets, Juventus tickets, PSG tickets, Barcelona Fc tickets, and AC Milan tickets securely online from LiveFootballTickets.com!

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Los Angeles FC vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

Los Angeles FC vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

Ibrahimovic confirmed that he had agreed to move to Galaxy from Paris St-Germain in the summer of 2016, only for the deal to collapse. He would subsequently pen a one-year contract at Manchester United, which became two, despite the torn knee ligament suffered in last season’s Europa League semi-final.

“My head was here. I wanted to come here and it didn’t happen,” he said. “For the last two months, I’ve been training every day and still not feeling 100%. Then this move came up where Jovan started to call me every day and I started to put my mind on something in a different way. I spoke to Jovan more than my wife!”

“I’m like Benjamin Button!” said Ibrahimovic. “They said I was too old in the Premier League – the fastest competition in the world. “But I did it and took over. After three months, the super-haters – all the people who were criticizing - became my fans. I will always take the hardest challenge that is out there. At 35, people said I would never make it in the Premier League, even players I talked to. I had 20 years of experience in other competitions and had won trophies, but they said I would be gambling that if I went to the Premier League and the one season wasn’t good. But I took all those years and put it on one bet to go to the Premier League and see what happened. Same thing here, I don’t have anything to prove. I just have to perform. I know what I’m able to do and I will do it. I know in my head what the game is. Now the rest of my body has to follow. I’ve come here to win. I’ve already brought my family. My wife can take care of the family and I can do what I’m good at. The lion is hungry.”

Ibrahimovic made seven first-team appearances and scored once for Manchester United when he returned to Man Utd duty in November, but his final appearance came on 26 December, due to a fresh setback. He admits he was unable to get back to full fitness during the remainder of his career at Old Trafford.

“I started to play, but I had a bit to do before I could go all in. I played six to seven games, scored a goal, but I felt something. I didn’t feel 100%. I didn’t feel ready, so I took a step back,” he said.

Galaxy endured the worst season in the club’s history in 2017, LAFC are the new kids on the block with a new $250m stadium in the heart of LA.The Galaxy are the only team to have five titles. Ibrahimovic is fully aware of Galaxy’s history after speaking with his former PSG team-mate David Beckham.

“When David Beckham came here he gave a boost to the league and to the Galaxy, and set the bar with where he had come from,” said Ibrahimovic. That was something that kept going with Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane, and now I’m here. “It’s the most successful club in the history of MLS and the right environment for me. They’re used to getting players from Europe in this situation. I see the potential. Last year was not a good year, but something new is going on. I’m an extra piece in the big puzzle. I know what I can bring, and I will bring it. I’m not arrogant, I’m confident. The people who don’t understand say I’m arrogant.”

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