(Reuters) – Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not yet done with Major League Soccer (MLS), as the Los Angeles Galaxy said on Tuesday the Swedish striker agreed to return to the club for another season.
FILE PHOTO: Sep 29, 2018; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (9) celebrates after scoring a goal on a penalty kick in the fourth minute of play in the game against the Vancouver Whitecaps at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Ibrahimovic, who joined the Galaxy in March after leaving Premier League side Manchester United, enjoyed an impressive debut season in North America and was named MLS Newcomer of the Year.
But the 37-year-old Swede, the subject of rumors linking him to a transfer to AC Milan, felt he had more to prove in MLS after failing to lead his Galaxy side to the playoffs and so agreed to return to the club as a Designated Player.
“I’m not finished yet with the MLS,” Ibrahimovic said in a video provided by the Galaxy. “I started good, I did good but I am still not satisfied for the outcome.
“I have things still to do and I see my first year as a warming up and the second year will be different. It will be a big difference because now I know the league and I know my opponents more.”
Ibrahimovic finished the 2018 campaign with 22 goals and 10 assists in 27 regular season appearances, making him only the third player in MLS history to record a 20-goal, 10-assist season.
The prolific goal scorer became the latest high-profile player to join MLS in the latter part of his career following the likes of David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Thierry Henry and Frank Lampard.
Former England captain Beckham won the MLS Cup twice after joining Galaxy in 2007 and became an iconic figure for the growth of the game in a country hooked on more traditional American sports like NFL and baseball.
Ibrahimovic, while in the latter stages of a glittering career that includes league titles in Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and France is hopeful of having a similar impact with his current club.
“I’m here to win. I said first day I am not here for vacation,” said Ibrahimovic.
“I came here to leave a stamp. I came here to make my team win and I didn’t get to do that in my first year and I am not the one that leaves without winning because everywhere I came I won.”
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Hugh Lawson