Los Angeles Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has mocked at claims Carlos Vela is the most renowned player in Major League Soccer right now, declaring himself the best ‘by far’.
Ibrahimovic joined Galaxy in 2018 on a free transfer and has since gone on to make 43 appearances for the club, registering 35 goals and ten assists but there is one player who seems to have beaten him this season in terms of goal scoring. That player is former Arsenal striker, Carlos Vela who now plays for Galaxy’s newfound crosstown rivals LAFC, and he leads the top scorer’s race with 19 goals.
The ex-Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus striker was asked by ESPN if he still thought he was the best player in the US in spite of Vela’s rise, Zlatan responded: “By far, because if he’s in his prime. How old is he? Twenty-nine. And he’s playing in MLS and he’s in his prime. When I was 29 [I was in Europe]. Big difference.”
Interestingly, the two players will come up against each other this weekend in the LA derby, a game in which Ibrahimovic announced himself on the MLS stage with a stunning debut brace that gave his side an incredible 4-3 comeback victory, having started 3-0 down.
Ibrahimovic is a man who has seen it all, having played in the biggest derbies in European football like the El Clasico and on both sides of the Derby della Madonnina. He explained that it is these games that keep him going at 37 years old.
“That [derby] atmosphere keeps me alive, that keeps me on my toes. Hopefully, it will be a nice atmosphere like that on Friday. I think it will be. It gives you energy, it gives you adrenaline.
“The most hyped derby I have played in is El Clasico. The most intense I have to go to Italy. Milan-Inter, those were good games.”
Nevertheless, he also revealed he was always destined to play in America, revealing: “I chose to come here because I said that one day I will play in America and I will show them how to play the game. And unfortunately, I had an injury and it slowed me down and my process to come here.
“But in the end I came. And I’m feeling good. And I still feel like I can perform. And that’s the most important [thing].”