Designated Player Zlatan Ibrahimović Extends Contract With LA Galaxy
With 2018 coming to a close, LA Galaxy is wasting no time enjoying leisure during the holidays. Following a subpar performance last season, LA Galaxy closes out the year with a key signing that will surely calm the nerves of its supporters heading into 2019.
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The Facts: The famous Zlatan is a high scoring forward who proudly wears the #9 on his Jersey. At 6′ 5″ and weighing a strong 209 lbs, this amazing International player is 37 years old (Born 10/03/1981 in Malmö, Sweden.) Zlatan scored 22 goals and had 10 assists in 27 games and was nominated for the league’s Most Valuable Player award.
According to ESPN, “I want to bring the trophy home. I came here to leave a stamp and I didn’t get to do that in my first year. I’m not one that leaves without winning because everywhere I’ve come, I’ve won,” Ibrahimovic said.
The contract extension is the first move by LA General Manager Dennis te Kloese. How many millions it took to re-sign Zlatan was not disclosed.
“We are very pleased to sign Zlatan to a new contract that will see him return for the 2019 season,” said te Kloese. “He showed his value last season and we look forward to him representing our club next year. With Zlatan returning, we will continue to improve our team in advance of the season.”
Te Kloese was named General Manager last week and took responsibility for initiating talks with Ibrahimović and securing his commitment for next season.
The Swedish international joined LA Galaxy from Manchester United at the beginning of the 2018 MLS season, making his debut in the El Tráfico derby versus Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC). Ibrahimović recorded a brace on the afternoon, leading LA Galaxy to a 4-3 victory.
The highlight of the match was a 45-yard volley from Ibrahimović to beat the LAFC goalkeeper.
Although the 2018 campaign was an individual success for Ibrahimović, LA Galaxy was unable to secure a playoff berth. Ibrahimović recorded 22 goals and 10 assists, making him the third player in MLS history to record a 20-goal, 10-assist season. The Swedish international also surpassed the 500-goal career mark in September versus Toronto FC.
Following the 2018 MLS campaign, Ibrahimović was named LA Galaxy Player of the Year, earned MLS Best XI honors, won MLS Newcomer of the Year and won MLS Goal of the Year. Despite these successes, the 2018 season did not finish how the club or its fans may have wished. Ibrahimović returns re-energized as he looks to add his name to the LA Galaxy history books.
LA Galaxy also announced the re-signing of Juninho on Tuesday. The Brazilian international hoisted three MLS Cups with LA Galaxy in 2011, 2012 and 2014. The 29-year-old was sold to Club Tijuana in 2015 and loaned to the Chicago Fire in 2018. General Manager te Kloese will likely shift his focus to appointing a head coach. Dominic Kinnear currently serves as interim head coach for LA Galaxy.
Ibrahimović’s first interview following the news of his extended contracted is provided below:
And, in case you missed any, here are some fabulous goals from the man who is determined to bring glory to the LA Galaxy.
Photo Credit: Diane Scavuzzo and LA Galaxy