PREMIER LEAGUE NEWS

Los Angeles Galaxy Introduce Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, No. 9, LA Galaxy

 

PREMIER LEAGUE NEWS

Carlo Ancelotti may be back, Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaves Man United for LA Galaxy

Carlo Ancelotti update

Carlo Ancelotti is hinting that he is waiting for the right England Premier League job to open up by postponing talks with the Italian National Team until the summer. Italian manager Ancelotti was sacked by Bayern Munich earlier this season. He is currently not working, but he has been linked with a return to England. In the past, Ancelotti led Chelsea to the double in 2010 but was sacked by the club’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich. Since then Ancelotti has healed the wounds of being fired with the Russian and he’s believed to be considered to replace current Chelsea boss Antonio Conte if he leaves. Meanwhile, Arsenal are planning for Arsene Wenger’s retirement and Ancelotti is in the running to replace the Frenchman if he leaves. The Italian is delaying talks with his country to see what becomes available in England. Reportedly Wenger could step down this summer.

Kickers Offenbach v Bayern Muenchen - Friendly Match

Carlo Ancelotti was asked whether he’ll become Italy’s next manager.

“My answer is this - the federation, now with the help of Coni (Italian Olympic Committee), must create its own new structure, after which it will make the decision,” replied Conti. “I can’t make a decision now. It needs clarity, then you can think about it, even if my goal is still to train a club team. I still do not know, it’s all on the high season, you have to wait a couple of months.”

Ancelotti has ruled out managing in France and Germany again, while AC Milan are his only option in Italy. The Italian has already managed Real Madrid.

Los Angeles Galaxy Introduce Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, No. 9, LA Galaxy

 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic update

Last Friday, after a three-year courtship the LA Galaxy got their man. Sweden superstar striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has just signed with the US football team LA Galaxy who had come close to signing Ibra several times in the past. MLS club LA Galaxy were in touch with the Swedish celebrity soccer player on and off for the last three years and almost got him on board in 2017 before a major knee injury he suffered last April put off any talk of the then Man United superstar striker moving from Manchester to the City of Angels. As Ibrahimovic was healing from his injury, LA kept up the conversation and remained in contact with Zlatan, periodically checking in on him until, about four months ago when he was first returning to competition for Manchester United from his ruptured ACL. At that time Ibra let Galaxy know that he thought the time was right for him to finally make the move to MLS. LA still wanted him, but Galaxy president Chris Klein said that the club initially thought Ibrahimovic wouldn’t agree to move until the summer since he was still under contract with Manchester United through the end of the 2017-18 English Premier League season in May. Ibra worked his way back into the United’s regular rotation following his initial return from injury in November. After playing in seven matches from November 18 to December 26, Zlatan missed all of January and much of February to recover further from reinjury of his initial injury. Another factor in Zlatan’s decision to leave Manchester United was their falling out of contention for trophies in the Premier League and UEFA Champions League. Serious negotiations with Galaxy began a few weeks ago, with Jose Mourinho and Manchester United confirming Thursday that they’d terminated Ibrahimovic’s contract, making him a free agent. Galaxy announced the next day on Friday that they’d signed him to a two-year deal using Targeted Allocation Money. The hiring of Ibrahimovic is the biggest signing in an offseason in LA, who endured the worst season in club history last year when they finished tied for last in MLS with just 32 points.

“They see that I played in Europe at big clubs, forget the Champions League,” said Zlatan Ibrahimovic about his move. “They see that I was at Manchester United. They know that I understand what they’re going through, what they’ve been through, and what they’re going to because I played for the Galaxy too. That’s massive for me. I tell them the truth, the pros and cons of everything. In the end, selling what the Galaxy is, who we are, and AEG... that’s the biggest thing.”

The communication with LA Galaxy began during Ibra’s final days at PSG in 2016 through a chance meeting between the Swede, his agent, and club president, Chris Klein. About a year later, Ibrahimović and his family visited LA with Kirovski serving as the tour guide, showing them around the stadium. The trip ended with a dinner between the Galaxy’s technical director, Ibrahimović, and football legend David Beckham at a chi-chi Beverly Hills restaurant.

“It needed to make sense,” Klein said about the hiring. “We didn’t put on a piece of paper ‘Sign one of the biggest names in the world for TAM’ and think that will cure all of our problems. We knew that it needed a systematic approach, that it needed some additional quality signings in the offseason and to build some stability in the team. Just take that next step forward, that was the objective for us. And when the opportunity presented itself with Zlatan, we evaluated it from all sides and decided it was the right thing to do.”

Reportedly Galaxy will pay Ibrahimovic $1.5 million per season during his deal. Signing him at that price was the only way for LA to land the 36-year-old Ibrahimovic. The Galaxy already employs the MLS League maximum of 3 Designated Players on their roster - Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos and Romain Alessandrini. The most Galaxy is allowed to spend without selling one of them was $1.5 million per year, the maximum amount MLS allows to be paid to players whose salaries are brought down using TAM. Ibrahimovic was reportedly making several times that salary at Manchester United. Klein said that Ibrahimovic, who will probably look to line up several major US endorsement deals in LA, was eager to accept when offered.  

“I can’t say enough about the off season that we had and making so many changes with Sigi Schmid and VP of soccer operations Pete Vagenas and what our entire soccer operations group did to build the team and to leave room to be able to bring a player like Ibra in,” Klein said. “To have him come in as a TAM player, it didn’t even really take convincing. He wanted to come and he had the insight and the wherewithal to understand that he didn’t want to blow up our team to do it. And doing that, you hear all the time in sports that it’s not about the money, it usually is about the money. But with him, it wasn’t.”

Ibra will head from Europe to LA this week and may feature in the Galaxy’s first-ever match against expansion club LAFC on Saturday at the StubHub Center. The Galaxy have a very high-powered attack with Ibrahimovic, the dos Santos brothers, Alessandrini and striker Ola Kamara, but their defense is lacking in similar star power and is coming off a season in which they conceded 67 goals, the second-worst record in MLS.

LA re-shaped their backline in recent months, following up their September signing of center back Michael Ciani by acquiring Norwegian center back Jorgen Skjelvik, Venezuelan right back Rolf Feltscher and former San Jose goalkeeper David Bingham while re-signing left-back Ashley Cole in the winter. The group has started solidly, allowing just three goals through three games, but it’s an open question whether they’ll hold firm when paired with a group of attackers not known for their defensive work. For now, though, Klein and LA aren’t worried about that. With Ibrahimovic on their side, LA Galaxy has increased their options to succeed in the 2018-19 season.

“There’s a lot of optimism both in our front office and within our soccer operations group and with our players and with our fans,” said Klein. “We know we have a long, long way to go. We’re three games into a 34-game season. No one goes undefeated in our league, no one stays at the top for the entire time. We know that challenges lie ahead, but we’re certainly prepared for those and we feel good about the group that we have.”

Sweden's international soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic left one of Europe’s wealthiest clubs to sign with the Los Angeles Galaxy, and he is taking a massive pay cut to come to the U.S. At Manchester United, where he was returning from a serious knee injury, he was reportedly earning $27 million a year. At the Galaxy, his salary will be $1.4 million, reports Sports Illustrated citing the Spanish newspaper Marca - 95 percent less. Ibra is one of the most famous football players in the world. In a video announcing his arrival to Los Angeles that the Galaxy posted on Twitter, Ibrahimovic walks beside a lion and says, "Los Angeles, welcome to Zlatan."

 

On Friday of last week, Ibrahimovic took out a full page of the LA Times to post an ad.

"Dear Los Angeles, You're welcome."

MLS clubs have a $4 million wage cap, but they can exceed that limit with a few exceptional players thanks to the Designated Players Rule, otherwise known as the "Beckham Rule." After David Beckham joined the Galaxy in 2007 to earn $255 million over his six years in the American league.

 

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

Beckham's substantial income included more than just his $6.5 million a year salary. It came largely from endorsements and "revenue sharing." The superstar was such a valuable asset when it came to filling up stadiums, selling merchandise and promoting the brand that the Galaxy gave him a portion of the money it brought in.

 

Many European players later followed Beckham to the U.S. as "designated players" including Thierry Henry, Steven Gerrard and Andrea Pirlo. Ibrahimovic will not be a designated player. But, like Beckham, he could still receive income from sponsorship and endorsements. The Sweden superstar is bringing both his talent and his personality to LA. His arrogance is endearing not only because it is funny, but because he can back it up. He is Sweden's all-time top goalscorer, having won 33 club trophies in his career. His impressive resume spans Europe's top clubs. Prior to his stint with Man United, he had stints at Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus. And he has won the league cup in four different nations. "No one in the world has won in five." Ibra has scored some stunning goals including a one-time bicycle kick from 30 yards out. There are rumors he will be coming out of international retirement to play with Sweden in the World Cup this summer.

 

"After being in Europe, winning 33 trophies, playing in the best teams in the world, playing with the best players in the world, I wanted to come to the U.S. and play my game there," Ibrahimovic said of the transfer. "I wanted people to enjoy my game there and to win, and I chose the Galaxy to do that."

 

Ibrahimovic admitted he had doubts about joining LA Galaxy but insisted he remains ‘hungry’ for success.

 

“I decided to sign with Galaxy because I think it’s the right place for me,” he told the club’s official website. “I have a lot to give, I can help them a lot, and they are the best team in the US. There were no doubts. I have a lot of expectations, I put pressure on myself, I demand a lot in my game. I’m just looking forward to playing, I need to play. I’m like a little child who you give candy to for the first time and he’s looking for the candy all the time. That is what I need. I need to play and I want to play. I’m hungry to play because it’s gone too long now, I haven’t felt involved in the game and I need to feel involved. Because this is what I’ve been doing all my life.”

 

LA Galaxy, also known as the Los Angeles Galaxy, is an American pro soccer franchise based in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California that competes in Major League Soccer, as a member of the Western Conference. Manager: Sigi Schmid. Owner: AEG MLS Cup titles: 2014, 2012, 2011, 2005, 2002.

Zlatan Ibrahimović will be available for selection for this weekend's match against LAFC. Ibrahimović will train with his new LA Galaxy teammates for the first time on Friday and be available for selection by LA Galaxy Head Coach Sigi Schmid for LA Galaxy's sold-out weekend fixture against LAFC on Saturday, March 31.

Watch Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s former club Manchester United compete in live action in the England Premier League, Manchester Derby against Manchester City, and FA Cup.

Buy all Premier League ticketsManchester United tickets and FA Cup tickets securely online from LiveFootballTickets.com! APR 7 2018 English Premier League Manchester City v Manchester United Tickets Etihad Stadium - Manchester, United Kingdom. APR 21 2018 FA Cup Semi-final Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur Tickets Wembley Stadium - London, UK

 

Los Angeles Galaxy Introduce Zlatan Ibrahimovic

At his first press conference with Galaxy, legendary Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimović said that joining the LA Galaxy was always written in the stars. The Galaxy unveiled the 36-year-old superstar striker on Friday before more than 100 media members from across the globe. The press conference was the culmination of a three-year-long pursuit by LA Galaxy. For Ibrahimović, it was always "destiny" that he'd join the Galaxy.

“It was supposed to happen before Manchester United. My head was here. I wanted to come here and it didn’t happen,” said Ibra. “Destiny said I would come here. Los Angeles called, and I answered.”

Ibrahimović says there is no pressure on him to prove anything, he simply wants to help Galaxy win titles.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity that I can go in and collect what I’ve been collecting all these years," he said. "I just opened the door. I’ll step in and I’ll bring in so many trophies to this club.

Read more about Zlatan Ibrahimovic:

ZLATAN SCORES ON HIS LA GALAXY DEBUT