Zlatan Ibrahimovic announced his arrival in MLS (Or MLS announced it’s arrival to Zlatan) in some style over the weekend, as the Swede scored a spectacular equaliser and a dramatic late winner against LAFC on his LA Galaxy debut.
The equaliser was special and it might become the most viewed MLS goal of all-time. There was a lot of love for it this side of the pond but there was also some of the typical ‘anti-MLS’ snobbery.
Miguel Delaney, Chief football writer at the Independent, tweeted:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic found the net 17 times in the Premier League last season, and now it’s a surprise that he scored on his MLS debut? Yes he suffered a serious injury towards the end of the season, but he’s a high-level athlete, even at 36-years-old he can come back from it.
MLS isn’t the best league in the world, all of us that follow the league know that and accept that it can be questioned defensively. However, I don’t think there’s much that could have been done about the equaliser. Whatever league it’s scored in, it’s fantastic technique and execution.
If that was scored in a European league, there’s no way the standard would have been questioned by these high-profile journalists, it would have been lauded.
To say that he only scored that goal because the league is of poor quality, is a ridiculous argument. He has been a prolific goalscorer at every club over the course of his career, even during his one proper season in the Premier League. Has a world class striker supposedly lost his ability after an injury?
Let’s get it right. Zlatan would walk into any Premier League club below the top six because he still has the ability to score goals at this stage of his career and his experience is phenomenal.
MLS still has its nightmare moments defensively, but Saturday’s screamer wasn’t one of them. The league has improved massively and is continuing to move in a positive direction. I have seen much worse defensively in the Premier League this season, but hey, it’s not MLS so we won’t bring it up…