Zlatan Ibrahimovic keeps scoring and no surprise, he keeps talking, too.
The LA Galaxy star had a goal and an assist in Saturday's 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact, which keeps him two goals behind Carlos Vela in the Golden Boot presented by Audi race, with three games left to play for both players.
Is Ibrahimovic gunning for the Golden Boot? He shrugged it off, but also continued to back himself as the very best in MLS.
“I am the MVP of the MVPs, so I don’t focus on that," Ibrahimovic told reporters after the game. "I focus on performing and making my team win, because now we are in a good position, we just have to continue. This is what we want, we want to be in the playoffs and then we take the race from there. So, whoever wins whatever individual [award] is not important for me.”
At the same time, Ibrahimovic, who has scored his 27 goals this season in 26 league games, to Vela's 29 in 28 appearances, noted that he's missed more time than his rival.
“That’s the way to help my team, I have to score a lot of goals," he said. "I don’t know how it works with the Golden Boot. With playoffs or without? I don’t know, I just try to help my team. I think I missed five or six games compared to the other ones.”
With a third rival for the Golden Boot, Atlanta United's Josef Martinez, reportedly out for several weeks, Ibrahimovic himself admitted he took a knock against Montreal, but unlike the Venezuelan, does not appear to be severely injured.
“I was tired. When I jumped in a duel, I twisted my ankle and I think I hit a nerve so I couldn’t feel my left foot. But after a while it came back but that was it,” he said.
The last two games have revived LA's Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs hopes, as they now sit in fourth place in the Western Conference, with two games this week – at Real Salt Lake on Wednesday (9:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info) and at home against Vancouver on Sunday.
“I think every game is big," Ibrahimovic noted. "The last five or six games we said to ourselves that we need to win if we want to play the playoffs and it’s up to us. If we want, we will make it, if we want, we will do it also. So, two games now we won, that’s six points. Next game in Salt Lake, okay if we can win that one is a huge step so let’s keep this with us.”
And from there? Once they're in, it's a whole new season for the Galaxy, says the Swede.
“It’s two different competitions I think, first is to [make] the playoffs and then the second one is the playoffs. So, whatever we did here to get in the playoffs, it doesn’t come with us in the playoffs. It’s like a new championship starting over,” he said.