The game in America needs the Swedish striker to stay at LA Galaxy in order to remain relevant, the out-of-contract veteran superstar has claimed
Zlatan Ibrahimovic potentially aimed a parting shot at MLS as he discussed his LA Galaxy future following their play-off defeat to rivals Los Angeles FC.
The 38-year-old, who scored 30 goals in the 2019 regular season to lead Galaxy back to the postseason, was on target on Thursday but could not save his side from a 5-3 derby defeat.
It was Galaxy’s first El Trafico reverse as LAFC, the Supporters’ Shield winners, took a huge stride towards a first MLS Cup triumph.
Ibrahimovic is out of contract in Los Angeles in December and has not been shy in talking up a possible return to Europe, with former club Manchester United linked along with a host of Serie A sides.
The former Sweden star insisted a further contract with Galaxy does not depend on financial terms, despite having become a Designated Player heading into this season.
However, in typically bold fashion, he suggested MLS would be quickly forgotten if he was no longer playing in the league.
“It’s not about money,” he said, as reported by ESPN.
“I have another two months [on my contract]. We’ll see what happens.
“[If I stay], then MLS is good, because the whole world will watch it. If I don’t stay, nobody will remember what MLS is.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic LA Galaxy 2019
Ibrahimovic has previously stated that he considers himself to be the finest player to have ever graced the game in America.
He stated back in September: “I think I’m the best that has ever played in MLS.
“And that’s without joking.
“Have you been watching the two years I’ve been playing [here]?”
Ibrahimovic has scored 53 goals in 58 MLS games for Galaxy, including the play-offs, since signing from United early last season.
He has been linked with a return to Old Trafford, as his deal in Los Angeles runs down, while a move to Serie A has also been mooted for the former Juventus, Inter and AC Milan star.
Napoli are considered to be leading that particular chase, with club chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis telling Sky Sport Italia: “[Ibrahimovic] is a friend.
“I met him in Los Angeles not as a footballer but as a normal person because we were in the same hotel.
“I invited him over for dinner with his wife and kids and we had an amazing time. It would be my wish to see him in Napoli colours. It’s more than a suggestion and it depends on him. It’s been talked about for a few months now.”