New Delhi, March 30: Los Angeles Galaxy fans could get their first glimpse of Zlatan Ibrahimovic tomorrow as the Major League Soccer side gears up for a city derby with expansion team Los Angeles FC.
Tomorrow’s clash — dubbed “El Trafico” in a nod to the California metropolis’s eternally gridlocked streets — has been given an added edge by the Galaxy’s capture of Ibrahimovic.
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, who has not played since appearing for United in a 2-2 draw with Burnley in December, was only due to arrive in Los Angeles yesterday, giving him little time to acclimatise to his new surroundings.
However, the Galaxy have pointedly stated that Ibrahimovic is available for tomorrow’s game at the Stubhub Center.
Galaxy manager Sigi Schmid hinted that Ibrahimovic may well feature, fuelling the hype about the striker by stating this week that he is “not a normal, mortal human.”
“You’re talking about Zlatan Ibrahimovic,” Schmid said. “You’re not talking about a normal, mortal human. I’m sure he’ll tell you the same.
“He’s a competitor. He loves to compete and he loves challenges. If you ask me is he 90 minutes fit for Saturday, no. But will he play a role in the game? Quite possibly.”
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. (With PTI inputs).