I Celebrate God Every Time I Score – Ibrahimovic

AC Milan’s Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic reacts at the end of the Italian Serie A football match AC Milan vs Sampdoria on January 6, 2020, at the San Siro stadium in Milan. Miguel MEDINA / AFP

 

 

Veteran Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic said he “felt alive” as he marked his first start back at AC Milan by scoring in a 2-0 Serie A win over Cagliari on Saturday, but will wait to “celebrate like a God” until he nets at the San Siro again.

The 38-year-old had come on as a substitute in the goalless draw against Sampdoria last weekend, days after his return to Italy.

Ibrahimovic met a Theo Hernandez cross after 64 minutes in Sardinia with a low shot into the far corner. It was his first Milan goal since leaving the club for Paris Saint-Germain eight years ago.

“I’ll celebrate like a God at San Siro, not here,” he said. “I celebrate God every time I score, that way I feel alive!”

Portuguese forward Rafael Leao, 20, had struck the opener just after the break as Milan got their first win since a 3-2 victory over Bologna on December 8.

Since then Stefano Pioli’s side have settled for two goalless draws and suffered a humiliating 5-0 defeat by Atalanta.

AC Milan move up to eighth in the Serie A table, 10 points off the Champions League berths.

“The important thing is that I feel good,” continued Ibrahimovic, who left MLS side Los Angeles Galaxy last October.

“I missed a few balls at the beginning of the game, but I need to play games to get back in shape.”

“I feel good, the coach just wanted to think about my age and see if I needed a rest, but there’s no problem,” continued Ibrahimovic, who did not want to be substituted and played the entire game.

“My brain is always the same and the body has to follow.”

It was his 57th goal for the club and 123rd in Serie A, having also played for Inter Milan and Juventus.

Cagliari, who unveiled the club’s new jersey to mark their 100th anniversary this year, fell to their fourth consecutive defeat, but remain sixth.

– ‘The real Ibra’ –

Ibrahimovic started up front alongside Leao, who had described the towering Swede “as a big brother” during the week.

Cagliari goalkeeper Robin Olsen stopped an Ibrahimovic header early with Milan counterpart Gianluigi Donnarumma avoiding an embarrassing goalkeeping blunder.

With the Italy international off his line, Cagliari’s Uruguayan midfielder Nahitan Nandez hit a lob but Donnarumma raced back to clear.

After the break Leao latched onto a Samuel Castillejo free-kick with his shot taking a deflection over Olsen.

Ibrahimovic sealed victory with his first goal in the Milan jersey since May 2012.

He was denied a second with eight minutes to go by the linesman’s flag.

“Ibra is an important point of reference, but it will still take time to perfect,” said Pioli.

“He’s not yet the real Ibra, which we will see in a few games.”

Ibrahimovic has a six-month contract with an option for another season. He helped the club win their 18th and most recent Serie A title in 2011.

“I’ve felt him charged since our first call, we are talking about a champion who still wants to be at the top,” added Pioli.

“His presence and personality are important for the group.

“He wants to prove that he is still up to the situation, working in this way will certainly do everyone good.”

Serie A leaders Inter Milan host Atalanta later Saturday looking to stay ahead of champions Juventus who travel to Roma on Sunday.

Lazio, among the title challengers, three points behind the leaders in third, host struggling Napoli looking to extend their winning league run to 10 games.

AFP

Ibrahimovic Looking For ‘Last Bit Of Adrenaline’ At AC Milan

Milan’s Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic poses with his new jersey during his official presentation as new AC Milan player at the club’s headquarters Casa Milan in Milan on January 3, 2019.  MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

 

Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic warned Friday he was not back at AC Milan as a mascot but for the “last bit of adrenaline” and to lift a club he loved out of a difficult situation.

“I’m not here as a mascot to dance for the fans next to the Devil (Milan mascot),” the 38-year-old told a press conference in Milan.

“I’m looking for the last bit of adrenaline I might have. At my age you’re not looking for anything else but a challenge.

“When you’re 38 and get hired by AC Milan it’s something that doesn’t happen very often, coming here means I still have something to give.

“I got more requests now than when I was 28,” he continued.

“I am ready, I feel more than alive, I hope to play immediately.”

Ibrahimovic has signed a six-month contract worth 3.5 million euros ($3.9 million) with the option for an additional year.

It will mark the Swede’s second stint with Milan, seven years after he left for Paris Saint-Germain.

He played for the Rossoneri from 2010-2012 scoring 56 goals in 85 appearances and helped the club win their 18th and last league title in 2011.

One of the most successful clubs in the world the seven-times European champions are 11th in the table just seven points above relegation.

Milan chief football officer Zvonimir Boban contacted the Swede after he left Los Angeles Galaxy in October and the calls intensified after a 5-0 loss to Atalanta last month, their heaviest defeat in 21 years.

“After Atalanta I got lots and lots of calls, it wasn’t a difficult decision in the end,” continued Ibrahimovic.

“Last time I left Milan I didn’t want to leave. Milan gave me the happiness of playing soccer, I hope this will be true again.

“Things need to be improved in the field and that’s why I’m here.

“Milan is always AC Milan and the image of ACM is something that cannot be deleted, you can’t change history.”

Ibrahimovic said that going to the United States after his career-threatening knee injury at Manchester United had refuelled his passion.

“After two MLS championships I feel more than lively,” he said.

“It’s not that I can play like when I was 28 or 35, things change but you know what you can do. Rather than running you can kick a ball from 40 metres,” he smiled.

Ibrahimovic started his career at Malmo in his native Sweden.

He went on to play for Ajax, Juventus, Inter, Barcelona, Milan, PSG and Manchester United, winning trophies with all these clubs.

But Boban warned that the club would not just be counting on Ibrahimovic.

“We can’t forget the horrible and unacceptable defeat at Bergamo, but we must not hide behind the broad shoulders of Zlatan Ibrahimovic,” said Boban.

“We hope the course of the season will change and are optimistic about the effect he will have on the team and the environment but we need results.”

AC Milan’s first game after the winter break will be at home against Sampdoria on Monday.

AFP

Ibrahimovic Signs Six-Month Contract With AC Milan

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 30, 2018 LA Galaxy footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic speaks during his first press conference for the club in Los Angeles, California.  Mark Ralston / AFP

 

Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic has signed a six-month contract with struggling Serie A side AC Milan with the option of an additional year, the Italian club confirmed on Friday.

“I’m coming back to a club I hugely respect and to the city of Milan I love,” the 38-year-old said on the club’s website.

“I’ll fight together with my teammates to change the course of this season. I will do everything to make it happen.”

AC Milan are struggling in 11th place after a 5-0 thrashing against Atalanta last weekend, their worst defeat in 21 years.

“The club and the striker have agreed on a deal until the end of the current season with an option to extend the contract for the next one,” Milan said in a statement.

Ibrahimovic will arrive in Milan on January 2 to take his medical and join his teammates for his first training session, the club added.

The 38-year-old left Los Angeles Galaxy last month following the club’s elimination from the Major League Soccer playoffs.

Ibrahimovic played for two seasons between 2010 and 2012 with AC Milan, helping them to their last Serie A title, and scoring 42 goals in 61 league appearances.

He also won three league titles with Inter Milan, and two with Juventus, which were both revoked following the ‘Calciopoli’ match-fixing scandal.

AC Milan’s first game after the winter break will be at home against Sampdoria on January 6.

AFP

‘See You Soon In Italy’ – Ibrahimovic Hints At Serie A Return

In this file photo taken on June 02, 2019 Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Los Angeles Galaxy reacts during a football match game against the New England Revolution at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Katharine Lotze / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Sweden footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic has fuelled speculation that he is set to return to Italy, where he has played for AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus, by saying in an interview: “see you soon in Italy”.

The 38-year-old striker confirmed his departure from Los Angeles Galaxy last month following the club’s elimination from the Major League Soccer playoffs.

“I’ll join a club which must get back to winning, which must renew its history and is in search of a battle against everyone and everything,” Ibrahimovic told GQ Italia.

“That is the only way I’ll be able to find the necessary motivation to surprise you again.

“It’s not just about choosing a team, as there are other factors that need to line up, including in the interests of my family.

“I’ll see you in Italy soon.”

According to reports in Italy, Ibrahimovic has been offered a six-month deal to come to the aid of struggling former giants AC Milan, who are 11th in the Serie A table.

Napoli are also a possible destination as last season’s runners-up sit seventh, after a run of six league games without a win.

“I love to make the difference,” he added. “I don’t just want to do one or two things well, I want to do all of it.”

Ibrahimovic played for two seasons between 2010 and 2012 with AC Milan, helping them to their last Serie A title, and scoring 42 goals in 61 league appearances.

He also won three league titles with Inter Milan, and two with Juventus, which were both revoked following the ‘Calciopoli’ match-fixing scandal.

 

AFP

Ibrahimovic Files ‘Hate Crime’ Complaint After Angry Fans Vandalise His House, Statue

PIC 1: The fire-damaged statue of the Swedish football player Zlatan Ibrahimovic is pictured in Malmoe, November 27, 2019. PHOTO: Johan NILSSON / TT NEWS AGENCY / AFP PIC 2: A woman walks past Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s residence in Stockholm, where someone sprayed “Judas” on the the door to the building in Stockholm, on November 28, 2019. PHOTO: JESSICA GOW / TT NEWS AGENCY / AFP

 

Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Thursday filed a “hate crime” complaint after being the target of vandalism and racists threats, police said, a day after the star announced his part ownership in football club Hammarby.

A statue of the player in Malmo was attacked with fire and paint while the word “Judas” was daubed across the front door of his residence in Stockholm.

The perpetrators of the threatening acts have not been identified but “Ibra” angered fans of Malmo FF (MFF) — the club where he started his professional career in 1999 — on Wednesday when he announced he had bought a share in rival club Hammarby.

In Malmo, several people, most of them wearing hoods, vandalised a statue of Ibrahimovic that was unveiled just two months ago. Near the monument they wrote the words “Cigani do” (“Gypsy” in Bosnian, and “die” in Swedish) in spray paint.

Born in Malmo, Ibrahimovic is the son of a Bosnian father and Croatian mother.

Videos posted on social media showed masked people lighting fires and aiming them at the statue. There was no significant damage and a protective barrier has since been put up around it.

“An investigation has been opened into vandalism and threats with suspected hate crime motive. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the plaintiff,” a police spokesman told AFP.

Earlier on Wednesday, angry supporters had slipped a toilet seat on to one of the statue’s arms.

Hammarby, a Stockholm-based team playing alongside MFF in Sweden’s top league, announced Wednesday morning that Ibrahimovic had bought around 25 percent of the shares in the club.

“He’s turned his back on the city and what made him who he is,” Kaveh Hosseinpour, vice-president of the MFF supporters’ club, told broadcaster TV4.

At noon on Thursday, nearly 7,000 people had signed an online petition calling for the immediate removal of his statue in Malmo.

“How could you do this to us?” one outraged signatory wrote while another proclaimed that “everything can’t just be about money”.

In Stockholm, the door of the former Juventus, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United forward’s home was covered with the word “Judas,” and a tin of “surstromming,” a notoriously smelly fermented herring had been opened and poured outside the building.

Ibrahimovic, whose contract with Los Angeles Galaxy expires at the end of the year, has not announced whether he will continue his career at another club.

AFP

Ibrahimovic Becomes Co-Owner Of Swedish Club Hammarby

In this file photo taken on October 08, 2019 Sweden’s football star, Los Angeles Galaxy’s forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, attends a press conference ahead of the unveiling of a 2,7 m bronze statue of him near the stadium where he made his professional debut in his hometown of Malmo in southern Sweden. PHOTO: Johan NILSSON / TT News Agency / AFP

 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has acquired roughly a quarter of the shares in Stockholm-based football team Hammarby, the club said on Wednesday.

The 38-year-old former Juventus, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United forward has bought 50 percent of American sporting and entertainment company Anschutz Entertainment Group’s (AEG) stake in the Swedish team, according to a separate statement by AEG.

AEG also owns LA Galaxy where Ibrahimovic has played the last two MLS seasons, although he has confirmed he will leave when his contract runs out at the end of the year.

Ibrahimovic had hinted that something was in the works earlier this week when he posted a short video on Instagram showing a football jersey in Hammarby’s colours and the name Ibrahimovic on the back.

He said he would not have a playing role for Hammarby.

“For 10 years I’ve said I won’t return to Allsvenskan (Sweden’s top league). It’s not going to happen,” he told sports magazine Sportbladet.

“I had agreed with the team from Hammarby and AEG to get this thing as global as possible. We were to be seen all over the world. Not just in Sweden.”

“This is still new to us, but of course very exciting,” Hammarby’s chairman Richard von Yxkull said in a statement.

The club was originally founded in the late 19th century, although it only started a football club in 1915. It has only won the Swedish title once — in 2001.

Hammarby are also rivals of Malmo FF (MFF), the club where Ibrahimovic started his professional career in 1999.

Such is the love for him at Malmo that a statue of Ibrahimovic was unveiled outside their stadium in October but he does not anticipate any backlash from his hometown fans.

“I know they won’t be disappointed. What I have done for MFF will last for ever. This is completely different situation. It has nothing to do with where my career started,” he told Sportbladet.

But some supporters where less than pleased to learn of Ibrahimovic’s new stake in a rival club.

“I feel bad for Zlatan. He’s burnt every bridge to MFF,” Kaveh Hosseinpour, vice-president of MFF’s supporters’ club, told broadcaster SVT.

Hosseinpour added that Ibrahimovic’s main contribution to MFF was “being sold for a lot of money.”

“Since then he hasn’t done much more.”

AFP

Solskjaer Laughs Off Talk Of Ibrahimovic Return

Manchester United’s Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on August 24, 2019. Crystal Palace won the game 2-1.
PHOTO: Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has laughed off the idea that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could make a shock return to Manchester United.

Ibrahimovic will be out of contract at LA Galaxy in November, once the MLS season has ended, and stated in an interview earlier this week that he would be open to a return.

Romelu Lukaku was sold to Inter Milan, while Alexis Sanchez has joined the Italian club on loan for the rest of the season, and Solskjaer has openly admitted that United are now short in attack.

Ibrahimovic spent 18 months at Old Trafford under previous manager Jose Mourinho and scored 28 goals in his first season in 2016/17.

However, he then suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury and failed to recover his place in the side after Lukaku’s arrival, triggering his 2018 move to LA .

“If Zlatan was 28 at his next birthday, not 38, then maybe,” said Solskjaer. “So that is a big difference.

“Zlatan had a great time here and he is still doing well. It was just unfortunate that he got his injury here.

“I don’t think it will happen. I think he had his time at the club and he has had a fantastic career at the club.

“But he knows my number and if he is serious, I will always speak to Zlatan.”

Big enough

Solskjaer will have to rely on a forward line of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and 17-year-old Mason Greenwood for goals before the transfer window opens again in January.

But despite the lack of experience in that trio, the Norwegian believes it was the right decision to send Sanchez out on loan to Inter for the season.

The Chilean forward has had a nightmare spell at United, scoring just five times in 45 appearances since his move from Arsenal in January 2018.

“Alexis needed to go,” explained the United manager. “We know he has been here for 18 months and it has not really worked out for him.

“For him to restart and get himself playing regularly and scoring goals, that will only benefit everyone in the end.

“We had a decision to make. I am trusting Anthony, Marcus, and Mason to be our center-forwards.

“For me, it’s time for our boys to feel that pressure and responsibility, to be more robust and to know they have to play five games in a row.

“We’re mentally and physically more ready. That is the next step for our younger players.”

However, Martial will miss Saturday’s trip to Southampton due to injury, while Luke Shaw will be out for a few weeks due to a hamstring problem.

As the transfer window shuts across Europe on Monday, there is also likely to be further movement out of United.

Chris Smalling is on the verge of sealing a season-long loan to Italian giants Roma, and there could be a return to Serie A for Matteo Darmian.

“This opportunity has come up in the last couple of days for Chris,” said Solskjaer. “We sat down and discussed it and at the moment we have six fit centre-backs.

“I couldn’t promise Chris regular football, so he is on the plane over there now.

“I think he will enjoy the experience. It’s a big club, a good league and he will come back stronger and fitter from it.

“I can see Matteo maybe going as there has been some interest in Italy. But Marcos Rojo is definitely staying.

“The squad is less in numbers but we are still big enough and strong enough to have coverage in all positions.

AFP

Israeli Warplanes Hit Gaza After Palestinian Rocket Fire

A Palestinian man runs for cover during clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces across the barbed-wire fence following a border demonstration east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on August 23, 2019. Said KHATIB / AFP

 

 

Israeli warplanes hit the Gaza Strip’s ruling Hamas movement early Monday in response to earlier rocket fire from the territory into Israel, the army said in a statement.

Israeli authorities also announced a punitive reduction in the flow of fuel to the strip’s main power station, meaning a deep cut in the already rationed electricity supply.

Three rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel on Sunday night, the Israeli army said.

“Three launches were identified from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory,” it said in a statement. “Two of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defence system.”

“In response, a short while ago, (Israeli air force) fighter jets struck a number of terror targets in a Hamas military compound in the northern Gaza Strip, including the office of a Hamas battalion commander,” a statement Monday morning added.

A Palestinian security source said there were no casualties.

A separate statement from Israeli defence ministry unit COGAT said the latest fuel cut was personally ordered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also defence minister.

“The prime minister and minister of defence, Benjamin Netanyahu, ordered to downsize the transfer of fuel through the Kerem Shalom (border) crossing to the power station in Gaza by half, effective this morning and until further notice,” it said in English.

Netanyahu is fighting for reelection in a potentially tough general election on September 17 with critics from his right-wing power base calling for tougher action against the Islamist Hamas.

Nevertheless, analysts say, he is anxious to avoid escalation ahead of the polls.

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008.

Since the start of August, an uptick in rocket fire and Palestinian attempts to cross from Gaza into Israel have been met with Israeli strikes, threatening a fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Israel has also used fishing restrictions and fuel supplies as weapons, harshening and easing restrictions on the blockaded coastal strip according to circumstances.

Fuel deliveries, which are coordinated with the United Nations and paid for by Gulf state Qatar, were part of the truce agreement.

They have improved electricity supply in the enclave, where until the latest cut residents were getting around 12 hours of power a day, according to the UN.

In the past, the daily power supply was regularly as low as six hours.

AFP

Messi, Ibrahimovic Nominated For FIFA Goal Of The Year

 

Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are the star names on the 10-player short-list announced on Monday by FIFA for its Puskas award for goal of the year.

They are joined by three women and five men, with goals scored between July 16, 2018 and July 19, 2019.

There are nominees from the Bundesliga, Spanish Liga and women’s World Cup and one, a jaw-dropping shot by Billie Simpson of Cliftonville Ladies, from a Northern Ireland women’s league game played on what appears to be a public pitch in front of no spectators.

Messi, who has yet to win the award, earned the seventh nomination with a delicate chip for Barcelona against Betis in Seville. Ibrahimovic netted with a balletic volley for LA Galaxy in Toronto in Major League Soccer.

The award, which was established in 2009, is named after the legendary Hungary, Spain and Real Madrid striker Ferenc Puskas.

Fans can vote until September 1 on the 10 candidates nominated by FIFA. The governing body of world football will then choose between the top three vote-getters.

The two other women candidates are Ajara Nchout for a dribble and shot for Cameroon against New Zealand in the World Cup and Amy Rodriguez of Utah for a dribble and long-range shot in the US National Women’s Soccer League.

The remaining five choices are: Brazilian Matheus Cunha, of RB Leipzig, for a spin and chip against Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, Italian veteran Fabio Quagliarella for a back-heeled volley for Sampdoria against his former club Napoli, Colombian Juan Fernando Quintero for a free-kick for River Plate against Argentine rivals Racing, Andros Townsend of Crystal Palace for a volley against Manchester City and Daniel Zsori for an overhead kick for Debrecen in the Hungarian league.

Last year the Puskas award was won by Mohamed Salah of Liverpool. Ibrahimovic won in 2013. Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar have also won.

The winner will be announced at the FIFA Football Awards in Milan on September 23.

AFP

Zlatan Scores Twice To Lift LA Galaxy

Zlatan Ibrahimovic #9 of Los Angeles Galaxy kicks the ball away from Zarek Valentin #16 of Portland Timbers during the second half at Dignity Health Sports Park on March 31, 2019 in Carson, California. Katharine Lotze/Getty Images/AFP

 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned from injury in style Sunday, converting two penalties in the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 2-1 Major League Soccer victory over the Portland Timbers.

Exactly one year after the Swedish striker made his MLS debut for Los Angeles, he returned after missing two games with an Achilles tendon injury and made an immediate impact.

Denied by the post in the 14th minute, Ibrahimovic converted his first penalty in the 33rd, easily beating Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella after drawing a foul in the penalty area against Timbers defender Claude Dielna.

Jeremy Ebobisse grabbed an equalizer in the 44th, but Ibrahimovic struck again in the second half.

Having beaten three defenders to reach the edge of the box, he was fouled by Attinella.

This time from the spot he lofted a perfectly timed “Panenka” spot-kick into the back of the net as Attinella moved to his left.

In the Eastern Conference, Wayne Rooney scored on a sensational free-kick to lift D.C. United to a 2-1 victory at Orlando City that put D.C. back atop the conference standings.

A free kick from the former England star had set up D.C.’s opening goal, which was nodded in by Steve Birnbaum for his first of the season in the sixth minute.

Rooney doubled the score in the 30th, curling a free kick from just yards (meters) away from the corner flag into the top corner past Orlando keeper Brian Rowe.

Orlando coach James O’Connor called for officials to review the goal for a potential foul on Rowe by D.C. defender Frederic Brillant, but VAR confirmed the goal.

Orlando were already irked that the free kick was awarded at all since it was unclear if Dom Dwyer’s lunge at Rooney resulted in contact.

Orlando halved the deficit thanks to Dwyer’s 63rd-minute close-range header, but D.C. held them off to notch a first away win since May 19, 2018 — a streak that included 11 games and stretched back to before Rooney arrived at mid-season last year.

Dwyer’s goal was the first conceded by D.C. this season and energized the hosts, who pushed forward relentlessly in the final 30 minutes but couldn’t find an equalizer.

AFP

Zlatan Happy To Make Toronto His 500th Goal Victim

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden, Olympics

 

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic made history on Saturday, scoring his 500th career goal in stunning fashion, but it wasn’t enough to lift the Los Angeles Galaxy to a win over Toronto FC.

The 36-year-old Ibrahimovic has always had a flair for the dramatic and he did just that in becoming the third active footballer to reach the milestone for club and country, joining Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The six-foot-five (1.95 metre) Ibrahimovic delivered a perfectly-timed roundhouse kick in the 43th minute that fooled goalkeeper Alex Bono for his 17th goal of the season.

The goal cut the deficit to 3-1 and sparked a three-goal Galaxy rally, but the defending MLS champions held on to win 5-3 in front of a crowd of 30,700 at BMO Field in Toronto.

“I am happy for Toronto because they will be remembered as my 500th victim,” said Ibrahimovic.

Ibrahimovic came into Saturday’s game tied for second in MLS scoring. He has 17 goals and eight assists in 22 appearances with the Galaxy.

Jonathan dos Santos volleyed the ball over to the Swedish star who whipped around and tapped it home.

“I was close to the goal. It reminds me of a goal I did in Ajax,” said Ibrahimovic, who has five game winners for Los Angeles. “It came from a cross and I turned around and I hit it. I was just trying to hit the goal and it went in.”

Ibrahimovic scored 62 of his goals for Sweden with the rest coming while playing for Malmo FF, Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and now the Galaxy.

Jonathan Osorio’s 75th-minute go-ahead goal halted a three-goal Galaxy comeback and helped give Toronto some much needed points in their playoff push.

Jay Chapman added an insurance goal in stoppage time with a low shot to the corner.

Ibrahimovic left Manchester United to join the Galaxy at the start of this season.

“It is an incredible achievement,” said Galaxy coach Dominic Kinnear of Ibrahimovic’s goal. “The guy is a great goal scorer and it is a memorable one for him for many reasons.”

Asked if it was memorable one for the coach, Kinnear said, “In about 10 years from now.”

AFP

Zlatan Says Sweden Has ‘Big Chance’ To Win World Cup

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

 

Los Angeles Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic backs his homeland Sweden to win the World Cup ahead of a quarter-final showdown Saturday against England.

The Swedes have advanced to the World Cup’s last eight for the first time since 1994 and 36-year-old striker Ibrahimovic, Sweden’s all-time top scorer with 62 goals, has been vocal about their trophy bid.

“They have a big chance to win the World Cup,” Ibrahimovic said. “They beat Mexico (in group stage), which was good and they made a big statement by winning against the Swiss,” Ibrahimovic said in a posting on his Major League Soccer club’s website.

“They’re going well and doing things that no one thought they could do. They believe, and they thought they could do it. They’re making good things, and hopefully, they could continue.

“We are there to push them. Every Swedish person in the world is proud and we will be proud however it goes in the coming games.”

Ibrahimovic, who has 10 goals this season for the Galaxy, has spent his career among some of Europe’s greatest clubs, including Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United for the past two seasons.

Ibrahimovic’s advice for Sweden is simple — more of the same.

“They should continue doing what they’re doing,” Ibrahimovic said. “It’s difficult to play against them and to score against them. If they can keep it up, they have a good chance.

“Now, it’s not only about how good you are, but there are a lot of emotions in the game. It’s a quarterfinal, and a lot of emotions come into the game. Whoever can handle that best has an advantage.

“When Sweden wins, let’s see what David Beckham tells me.”

AFP