Zlatan Ibrahimovic - LA Galaxy - 2019
USA Today Sports Images

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he feels a lot more alive thanks to time in MLS as he begins Milan challenge

Zlatan Ibrahimovic may have left Los Angeles but he hasn't forgotten the time he spent with the Galaxy in MLS.

The 38-year-old, who left the LA Galaxy at the end of the 2019 season, was unveiled as an AC Milan player for the second time on Friday. And he explained how his time in the U.S. had left him feeling ready to take on the challenge of Serie A following a serious knee injury suffered during his time at Manchester United in 2017 that at the time appeared to threaten his career.

"I went to America because I wanted to feel alive, I wanted to experience new things," Ibrahimovic said at his press conference. "And after two seasons I feel a lot more alive, that’s why I've decided it’s time to come back to Italy and help Milan. Coming here and signing for Milan shows I have something left to give. If the club didn't believe in me they wouldn't have made this deal. I'm not just a mascot to stand next to the other mascot and dance around."

Ibrahimovic certainly showed he was still alive during his two years in MLS. The Swedish great, who won the Serie A title during his first spell in Milan a decade ago, scored 53 goals in 58 appearances (54 starts), while adding 17 assists. 

His impact on the league was immediate. On his debut against LAFC in El Trafico in March 2018, Ibrahimovic scored twice, including a stunning strike from fully 40 yards out.

As Ibrahimovic suggested on Friday, it is goals like that which show how he has continued to thrive deep into his 30s.

"I won't play as I played 10 years ago, that is not impossible," he said. "But an intelligent player knows how to adapt. Instead of running the whole way, you can fire from far out."


LIVE YOUR COLORS: Download the free MLS app - The official MLS app gets a major update for 2020, making it easier than ever to keep up with your favorite club, check standings, watch videos and much more.