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Zlatan has said so much about Zlatan over the last two years.
After it was announced he would not be returning next year, we thought we’d take a look back at some of his best quotes from his time in LA. Since it’s probably the last time I get to write about Zlatan, I thought I should try and break the MLSsoccer.com record for Zlataning about Zlatan as the age of Zlatan continues elsewhere. Zlatan.
1. “I came here because I have won a lot; I didn’t come to relax. That’s what I am. It’s not for nothing I have won 33 trophies. I think that is more than the whole MLS.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his intentions clear from the beginning. Zlatan demands the best from himself and MLS would receive nothing less. Even a year and a half into Zlatan’s tenure with the Galaxy, he still reiterated his need to be the best and make sure everyone knew his general presence should be celebrated.
This isn’t the most outlandish or most memorable quote from Zlatan, but it is encapsulating of his feelings and performance in MLS. Zlatan made the moments around him seem bigger. Zlatan never lacked quality. Zlatan….uhh….still has 33 trophies…
And it’s not like Zlatan is getting younger.
Or is he.
2. "I feel young. I said once before I feel like Benjamin Button. I was born old, now I will die young. Don’t worry about my age. When I came to England they all said I was old and I came in a wheelchair. After three months I conquered England and they said I was flying.”
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is that movie you pretend is affecting around your friends so you seem kind of pretentious, but in reality, you thought was kind of weird and overdone. Zlatan is that soccer player you pretend is kind of weird and overdone to seem pretentious, but in reality, moves you to tears each time you see him.
Zlatan comparing himself to Benjamin Button is probably accurate and absolutely none of us can prove otherwise.
3. "Here, I am like a Ferrari among Fiats.”
This is it. This is the Zlatan quote that will probably be definitive from his time in MLS. It’s a perfect Zlatan quote: Dismissive, cocky, self-aggrandizing, and probably rehearsed at least once or twice in LA traffic. Seriously, Zlatan has to write this stuff. You can’t convince me otherwise. He at least pays a team of writers. This is not a dunk on Zlatan, this is recognition of excellence in power moves.
4. "Not my teammates. Because my teammates are with me, so if I'm a Ferrari, they are Ferraris, too.”
IF YOU’RE A BIRD, I’M A BIRD. -Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Kind of. Look, sometimes when you’re Zlatan you have to do some things to backtrack on some things to make some people feel like they’re on an equal playing field.
You know. Lying.
5. "I feel like I am hunted," Ibrahimovic said. "But when you are the best, you're hunted."
Zlatan announced himself as “the hunted” after…[checking]...Zlatan brought the swift elbow of plausible deniability to Mohamed El-Munir’s head. Hey, brand gotta stay on-brand.
6. Reporter: Will they let Zlatan into Area 51?
Zlatan: “I have my own Area 51.”
It’s full of falukorv!
7. "I came from my own planet, with something that no one has seen. I'm a guy from this area that they think is the ghetto. They saw me differently, they did not make me feel welcome, they did not make me feel like everyone else, but I came with something else and now they follow that. I came from my own planet - Planet Zlatan."
Southern California brought out the ufologist in Zlatan I guess. In an interview with the BBC, he declared himself to be an alien from Planet Zlatan. This can only mean that there are more like Zlatan out there. Zlatan has also compared himself to Superman in the past, meaning that the Earth’s atmosphere is clearly what’s powering him to such great soccering heights and that we should expect soccer’s version of Zod to arrive any second. Unless that’s just Sergio Ramos. Zlatan’s kryptonite is lack of media attention.
8. “The commenters on MLSsoccer.com know nothing. They are the Fiats of commenters.”
Ok fine, I made that one up.
9. “They’re lucky I didn’t come 10 years ago because I would be the president today.”
I’ve seen this timeline. Things are actually pretty good.
But now the economy is based off the goal standard. Which means THINGS ARE PRETTY BAD IN VANCOUVER
Yeah, things are good.
10. “I am the MVP of the MVPs, so I don’t focus on that."
Zlatan claims to be the MVP of the MVPs, but instead of Zlatan proclaiming he is the single Most Valuable Player, he has, in fact, set up a universe where there are an infinite number of players more valuable. If there is an MVP of MVPs, it stands to reason there would then be an MVP of the MVPs of MVPs, and thus an MVP of the MVPs of MVPs of MVPs. Like Bobby Warshaw and Matt Doyle have always said, Zlatan’s biggest flaw is his inability to understand the Problem of Infinite Regress and/or listen to Sturgill Simpson.
Unless Zlatan is actually the MVP of the MVPs of MVPs and from there it’s just Zlatans all the way down. Which, at this point, why would you doubt the man?
11. "They wanted Zlatan, I gave them Zlatan."
Boy did he. The first time he appeared on a pitch in MLS is, and will always be, a moment. The rest almost felt superfluous after the half-volley against LAFC. But we got it and Zlatan didn’t stop playing his character, which, however, you feel about it, is as monotony-breaking as they’ve ever come. That’s all you can ask for.
12. “Now go back to watch baseball.”
This is his parting shot. And it’s too good to leave out.
(But hey, maybe stick around for some Major League Soccer too?)