Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Nothing personal with Carlos Vela, just stating facts

ORLANDO, Fla. — Two of the dominant players in MLS in one of the league's fiercest derbies, the rivalry between Carlos Vela and Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been oft-discussed during MLS All-Star Week. 

Or, perhaps better, a lack of personal rivalry. 

A day after Vela downplayed the significance of Ibrahimovic's comments leading to El Trafico, with the Swede boasting he's the league's best player and of his achievements when he was Vela's age, Ibrahimovic played it down, too. 

“It was not heated, only facts," Ibrahimovic told reporters after All-Star training Tuesday. "Facts that fans were talking about and I was repeating. No offense, it was nothing, it was not personal.”

Ibrahimovic arrived in Orlando later than most of his teammates and didn't train Tuesday, instead having a gym session for recovery. 

“I’m here, enjoying the moment. Being selected makes me work more. Let’s do that, let’s talk more because apparently, you need to talk more when you’re in All-Star," Ibrahimovic deadpanned. "It’s okay, I prepare for the game and I hope the fans enjoy the game. It’s something to look forward to.”

After Wednesday night's MLS All-Star Game presented by Target (8 pm ET | FS1, UniMas, TVAS, TSN), Ibrahimovic will return to the Galaxy, though won't be available for their next match due to yellow card accumulation. 

It would have been his first trip to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to face Atlanta United Saturday (5 PM ET | FOX, MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada) His yellow card, alongside red cards from Diego Polenta and Efra Alvarez, leave the Galaxy without a number of key players. 

“We’re confident, we believe in our team," Ibrahimovic said. "I’m sorry to miss that game, everybody says it’s an amazing stadium. My team is good. We’re confident. We had a bad game last game and we don’t want to repeat that.”

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