Reuters

Ibrahimovic after wonder goal on LA Galaxy debut: I gave them Zlatan

Ibrahimovic after wonder goal on debut: I gave them Zlatan

01/04/2018 at 16:41Updated 01/04/2018 at 16:53

Zlatan Ibrahimovic said he gave the LA Galaxy fans exactly what they wanted after coming off the bench to make a stunning debut in MLS.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic said he gave the LA Galaxy fans exactly what they wanted after coming off the bench to make a stunning debut in MLS.

Galaxy fought back from 3-0 down against new local rivals Los Angeles FC, with Ibrahimovic drawing them level with an incredible long-range effort to mark his debut in America.

The striker, recently signed from Manchester United, then scored the winning header in injury time for a sensational arrival in his new league.

“I think I heard, ‘We want Zlatan! We want Zlatan!’ And I gave them Zlatan,” he said.

The 36-year-old had arrived amid a blizzard of publicity and some typically arrogant, but playful, declarations. ‘Los Angeles, you’re welcome’, read a full-page advert he took out in the LA Times.

And after comparing himself to Benjamin Button in a press conference this week, the Swedish striker certainly proved his talent remains undimmed, even if he was struggling with his fitness.

"I felt like I played 40 games for my 20 minutes," Ibrahimovic said. "I was feeling everything, jet leg, I didn’t play for a long time. I did the first sprint and I started to breath immediately, so when the second came I said 'this time I shoot, I don’t run with the ball.' That’s the ball that went in."

Rebranding MLS to MLZ on social media, Ibrahimovic said he was destined to open his account in is first appearance.

"If you look back, every team I came to, the first official game I scored. I said I would not let it down today, I will score also today," Ibrahimovic said.

"I was just waiting to come in because when you’re losing 3-0 the adrenaline is pumping even more because you want to be able to do something, help the team, especially when they’re in a difficult situation. I just wanted to come in.”

Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid was full of praise for his new signing.

“I had a coach I used to coach with and he used to have a saying. 'You’ve got to dare to be brilliant'," Schmid said. "You can’t do something brilliant unless you dare to be brilliant.

“Ibrahimovic is the perfect definition of a guy who always dares to be brilliant, and if you do that you can pull off some things. That’s got to be a goal that’s going to go around the world. I’m sure it’ll be a YouTube sensation. It was fantastic."

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