Zlatan Ibrahimovic didn’t have to bring his tremendous talent to Los Angeles. The soccer superstar made a reported $26 million with Manchester United last season, but he accepted an offer from the Galaxy that pays him a lot less, just $3 million over two seasons to play for the Galaxy.
“After being in Europe, winning 33 trophies, playing in the best teams in the world, playing with the best players in the world, I wanted to come to the U.S. and play my game there,” Ibrahimovic told The Times’ Kevin Baxter on Thursday. “I wanted people to enjoy my game there and to win. And I chose the Galaxy to do that.”
A full-page ad in The Times’ sports section Friday reflects that notion, as well as Ibrahimovic’s outrageous personality.
It reads, simply, “Dear Los Angeles, You’re welcome.” And it’s signed by Ibrahimovic at the bottom.
The ad brings to mind a story told by The Times’ Dylan Hernandez in a column in Friday’s paper. Ibrahimovic was once asked what he gave to his then-fiancee as an engagement present. The soccer superstar replied, “What do you mean present? She’s got Zlatan.”
Clearly, Ibrahimovic sees himself as a gift to L.A. And Angelenos are going to be more than willing to accept that gift — Ibrahimovic has pretty much guaranteed it. When asked by Baxter whether Los Angeles was big enough to handle his personality, the city’s newest star said, “If it’s not, I’ll make it bigger.”