‘I’m the best that has ever played in MLS’ - Ibrahimovic makes lofty claim after hat-trick heroics
Zlatan Ibrahimovic claimed he is the best to ever play in Major League Soccer following a dominant performance in a 7-2 LA Galaxy win over Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
The Galaxy entered the contest in the midst of five match winless streak that saw them fall out below the line for the MLS postseason.
But the Galaxy took a major step toward righting the ship at home on Sunday, with the rout of Sporting KC, as Ibrahimovic delivered a hat-trick in the victory despite missing a penalty.
The three goals brought his season total up to 26 on the campaign, two back of local rival Carlos Vela for the league lead.
Over his two seasons in MLS, Ibrahimovic has now netted 48 times in 52 games and that production has the Swedish striker believing he is the best player the league has ever had.
“I think I’m the best that has ever played in MLS,” Ibrahimovic told reporters when asked his impact on his team and the league. “And that’s without joking.”
When asked why, he replied: “Have you been watching the two years I’ve been playing [here]?”
Later, Ibrahimovic was asked if winning a title is required for him to lay claim to the “best-ever” title in the league, but the striker dismissed that idea.
“No. I want it [the MLS Cup] because I play for it,” he said. “Not to show who I am.”
Ibrahimovic broke the Galaxy’s single-season goal record on Sunday night, surpassing Carlos Ruiz's 24 in 2002, and has made himself the key to his team's fortunes.
The striker currently has scored 53.1 percent of his team’s goals this season, which is currently the highest percentage of any team in MLS history, narrowly topping Chris Wondolowski’s 2010 season.
53.1% - Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored 53.1% of the #LAGalaxy's goals this season (26 of 49). Since Opta began tracking such data in 2007, no player has finished a season scoring more than 52.9% of their team's goals. Linchpin. pic.twitter.com/EUJHq7xAtr
— OptaJack⚽️ (@OptaJack) September 16, 2019
And Ibrahimovic believes that rate of return shows he has lived up to the goals he set upon arriving in the league.
“I said from the first day when I came, I’m not here for vacation,” Ibrahimovic said. “I’m here to perform and show everybody what the game is about.
“I think in the two years I’ve had here, I’ve done good things, amazing things, perfect things.”
The Galaxy currently sit in fifth place in the West, three points ahead of eighth-place FC Dallas, with each team having four games remaining.