LA Galaxy: Zlatan Ibrahimovic unbearably cocky, but probably right

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Photograph by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Photograph by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has stated that he will break every MLS record this season. The LA Galaxy star is unbearably cocky, but he might just be right.

I have never liked Zlatan Ibrahimovic. His egotistical, self-obsessed style has never sat right with me, even if it is all a little bit of an act as those closest to him protest it is. I have always preferred the more humble, self-aware, down-to-earth sports stars, the ones that a relatable rather than demanding reverence and glory.

But Zlatan is very different. Throughout his career, he has repeatedly claimed that he is or will prove that he is the best in the world. His self-confidence knows no bounds.

For some, he is invigorating, inspirational, a riveting figure to both adorn and obsess over. But for me, I find him difficult, infuriating, selfish.

When he arrived in MLS a little under a year ago, signing for the Los Angeles Galaxy, the biggest star joining the biggest club, his intentions were clear. To rip through the league with sublime quality, starting with that very first volley. He announced his arrival in equal brashness and brilliance.

But now he prepares for his second term. He is another year older, yes. But he is also that bit more removed from a crippling ACL tear, now has a preseason under his belt, and is fully acclimated to a league that he already dominated, nominated for the MVP award thanks to his inexorable goal record.

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Zlatan, typically, has a prediction for 2019. He will break every single record in MLS. It is quite the claim seeing as Josef Martinez only just set the new tally for goals scored in a single season.

But sadly, and this is perhaps my biggest gripe with the Zlatan arrogance, he is also probably right. While I find his self-boasting odious, I must also concede that he is one of the best footballers that I have ever seen. His physical power, his touch, his size, his intelligence and nous. Ibrahimovic is a special player, capable of rare moments that few others in history can replicate.

Will he actually break all MLS records? No. He won’t have the most number of clean sheets in a season, for instance. But the point of his claim, that this will be a season in which he lights up the league, is probably true.

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2019 will most likely see Zlatan close to his best — as close as he can be for a 36-year-old. And that will be more than good enough to rip MLS to shreds, which is good news for the LA Galaxy. Sadly for the rest of us, that means we won’t hear the end of it.