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EDITORIAL – Will Zlatan Ibrahimovic join AC Milan? MLS Commissioner Don Garber put an end to the rumor, at least for now. The top sportsbooks offered betting odds for the MLS Cup Final that was played on Sunday and they will likely set props on Ibrahimovic’s future.

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Has Ibrahimovic played his last game in the MLS? Reports in Europe suggested that the star Los Angeles Galaxy forward was on the verge of return to AC Milan, where he played in 2010–11 and 2011–2012 and scored 42 goals in 61 games.

Don Garber fueled the rumors in an interview with ESPN:

“Zlatan is such an interesting guy,” Garber said. “He keeps my hands and inbox full. He’s a thrill-a-minute.”

Garber then added: “He’s a 38-year-old guy who now is being recruited by AC Milan, one of the top clubs in the world. He has almost set records with how many goals he has scored over the last two years, and he’s exciting on and off the field.”

Maybe Garber said too much or people misinterpreted his words but European media basically confirmed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic was on his way to Italy. Ibrahimovic is such a unique talent and he is so recognized worldwide that his future has been the main topic of discussion this week, even with the MLS Cup Final taking place on November 10.

Garber even took time from his annual state of the MLS address Friday to share his thoughts after the league’s head of communications Dan Courtemanche tried to clarify his initial comments on social media.

“I never made the comment that showed up in an Italian newspaper,” Garber said last Friday. “That’s why Dan (Courtemanche) corrected that with a tweet yesterday.”

The Swedish forward joined the MLS on March 23, 2018 and he made an impact from the moment he played his first. He made his Los Angeles Galaxy debut on March 31, 2018 in the inaugural El Tráfico derby against Los Angeles FC and he scored two goals, including an incredible 45-yard half volley and a header in stoppage time that help Galaxy win 4–3. This is what he said after that game:

“I heard the crowd saying ‘We want Zlatan, we want Zlatan’, so I gave them Zlatan.”

His MLS career has been epic, he has 52 goals with 17 assists in 56 games and his off the field antics and words have been the talk of the league. Zlatan clearly has a lot of gas left in the tank, he has played some his best soccer with Los Angeles Galaxy and his brash, in-your-face attitude has been polarizing.

Here are some of his quotes:

This is what he said when he joined the MLS:

“I don’t come here because of what I did before,” Zlatan says. “I come here to demonstrate who I am. I come here to provide.”

He then talked to ESPN and explained the gap he felt between himself and the rest of the players in the MLS.

“MLS is not the level of Europe, to be honest,” Ibrahimovic said. “Before, I played with players either on my level or close to it. Which makes the game connect easier. Here, I am like a Ferrari among Fiats. And it can happen that the Ferrari can become the Fiat, or the Fiat can become the Ferrari.”

In an interview with ESPN’s Herculez Gomez (a former Los Angeles Galaxy player who won an MLS Cup with the team in 2005), Ibrahimovic said that he was better than Los Angeles FC forward Carlos Vela:

“By far, because if he’s in his prime. How old is he? 29,” Ibrahimovic said. “And he’s playing in MLS and he’s in his prime. When I was 29 (I was in Europe). Big difference.”

“I have a lot of respect for Vela, he is a good player, but you did one mistake, you compared him to me. That was your biggest mistake.”

When asked about his future Ibrahimovic said:

“We’ll see what happens. … (If I stay), then MLS is good, because the whole world will watch it. If I don’t stay, nobody will remember what MLS is.”

European teams are after Ibrahimovic, Garber did not deny it: “There has been interest in Zlatan from overseas clubs,” Garber said.

“That’s all that I had mentioned, contrary to the quote that was attributed to me, and I think that’s positive. Zlatan’s 38 years old, he’s a great player, and certainly a very popular guy globally. If there’s interest in Zlatan playing overseas, I think that speaks to the value that he has, and it validates some of the contributions that he’s made in our league.

Until a contract is signed, there is always a door open for Ibrahimovic to remain in MLS. The off-season will always generate plenty of rumors, but not until confirmation comes from the Galaxy, or Zlatan, nothing is written in stone.

European teams are after Ibrahimovic, Garber didn’t deny it: “There has been interest in Zlatan from overseas clubs,” he said.

“That’s all that I had mentioned, contrary to the quote that was attributed to me, and I think that’s positive. Zlatan’s 38 years old, he’s a great player, and certainly a very popular guy globally. If there’s interest in Zlatan playing overseas, I think that speaks to the value that he has, and it validates some of the contributions that he’s made in our league.”

Until he signs a contract there is always a chance that Ibrahimovic stays with Los Angeles Galaxy. The off-season is always filled with rumors but until Galaxy or Ibrahimovic himself confirm anything then is all speculation at this point.

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