Zlatan Ibrahimovic Announces Return to LA Galaxy; Contract Details Unknown

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 2018

CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Zlatan Ibrahimovic #9 of Los Angeles Galaxy celebrates his 2nd goal during the Los Angeles Galaxy's MLS match against Vancouver Whitecaps at the StubHub Center on September 29, 2018 in Carson, California.  The Los Angeles Galaxy won the match 3-0 (Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images)
Shaun Clark/Getty Images

Zlatan Ibrahimovic confirmed on Monday he will play for the Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer in 2019.

The veteran forward posted the following clip on Twitter:

Ibrahimovic moved to Los Angeles from Manchester United in 2018 and made a massive impact for the Galaxy, netting 22 goals and registering six assists in his 27 appearances in MLS.

Since the end of the campaign, there has been incessant speculation about a transfer, with former club AC Milan linked with a swoop for the 37-year-old. However, Milan sporting director Leonardo recently ruled out a move for Ibrahimovic, per Liam Grace of Sky Sports.

Per BBC Sport, Milan were recently warned by UEFA they must tighten their finances by 2021 to fall in line with financial fair play regulations. If they don't, they face being banned from European competition.

Italian football journalist Tancredi Palmeri thinks that warning played a big part in Milan ending their pursuit of their former forward:

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News that Ibrahimovic will be sticking around for a while yet will please Los Angeles supporters, as the enigmatic striker took the league by storm last term.

Despite his advancing years, it's clear the Swede has plenty to offer. As a focal point in attack, he is still effective, as he boasts the physicality to hold off opposition defenders and the technical ability to bring others into play.

Ibrahimovic also continues to showcase an appetite for the big occasion. On his debut for the team last season, he helped the Galaxy complete a remarkable turnaround against Los Angeles FC, scoring twice—including a stoppage-time winner—to help his side recover from three goals down to win 4-3.

His first goal that day was eventually crowned the Goal of the Year:

OptaPaolo summed up how efficient Ibrahimovic was in front of goal in his first year in the United States:

Ibrahimovic may well be in the twilight of his incredible career, although it's clear he's still passionate and ambitious. His decision to stay at the StubHub Center immediately enhances the Galaxy's chances of MLS Cup success for 2019.

Despite the brilliance of Ibrahimovic last term, the team were unable to make the playoffs, finishing in seventh spot in the Western Conference at the end of the regular season. Much more will be expected of them on the back of this news.