'Destiny' wanted me to join LA Galaxy, says Zlatan Ibrahimovic

David Cooper 31/03/2018
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[Photo credit: @LAGalaxy/Twitter]

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed that he was ready to join LA Galaxy two years ago before Manchester United came calling.

“This thing was supposed to happen a couple of years before but it didn’t,” Ibrahimovic said at his introductory press conference with the MLS club.

“I am here now. The destiny was that it was supposed to happen, the question was only when.

“[The move] was supposed to happen before Manchester United. My head was here. I wanted to come here.

“Things go like they are not supposed to go, but the destiny said I will come here. Los Angles called and I answered.”

The Swede joined the Galaxy last week after one-and-a-half seasons with United, where he had an impressive record of 29 goals in 53 appearances.

In a typically bombastic press conference, Ibrahimovic backed himself to continue his scoring record in America.

“I have more goals than players have games. I think I know what I am doing,” the 36-year-old said. “I am not arrogant, I am confident.”

Ibrahimovic played down concerns about his age and his ongoing recovery from an ACL injury suffered last season with the Red Devils, which curtailed his playing time towards the end of his spell in England.

“I feel young. I said once before I feel like Benjamin Button,” he said.

“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. This is only numbers.

“I know what I am able to do and I know what I will do. I come here to win. I feel excited.

“The lion is hungry.”

The new Galaxy recruit declared himself fit for Saturday’s historic first-ever LA derby, against new MLS side LAFC.

“Finally I am here, I am excited and looking forward to playing. I am looking forward to getting on the field.

“I want to smell the grass and touch the ball. Today I finished training and just wanted to shoot some balls.

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LA Galaxy supporters serenade Zlatan Ibrahimovic upon arrival at LAX

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Hundreds of LA Galaxy supporters mobbed Swedish soccer legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic as he arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday night.

Galaxy fans serenaded Ibrahimovic with a song outside a private terminal after he exited a black van to greet them and sign autographs.

Ibrahimovic will hold his first news conference on Friday, and is expected to be available for the Galaxy’s sold out Major League Soccer game against the expansion team Los Angeles FC on Saturday.

The 36-year-old Swedish striker’s move to MLS from Manchester United was confirmed last week, with Ibrahimovic swiftly vowing to reignite the Galaxy’s fortunes after they finished bottom of the league last season.

Ibrahimovic is the latest in a long line of European stars to head to MLS at the tail-end of their careers, following in the footsteps of David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Thierry Henry and Frank Lampard.

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PAOK Salonika president gets three-year ban for charging onto pitch with a gun

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PAOK president Ivan Savvides seen with a handgun attached to his waist.

Greek club PAOK Salonika’s president, Ivan Savvides, has received a three-year ban from all football stadiums in the country following an incident this month when he stormed onto the pitch while carrying a gun.

The March 11 fixture between PAOK and AEK Athens, a crucial tie in Greece’s title race, saw a PAOK goal controversially disallowed, prompting Savvides’ charge onto the pitch.

PAOK have also been docked three points for the incident, dealing a blow to their title hopes.

Savvides is a Georgia-born businessman who was also a deputy in the Russian state Duma, the country’s lower assembly house.

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