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LA Galaxy receive Zlatan Ibrahimovic boost after unforgettable debut season

The 37-year-old scored 22 goals in 27 games for the club in 2018.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic enjoyed a successful first season with LA Galaxy.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic enjoyed a successful first season with LA Galaxy.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

THE LOS ANGELES Galaxy confirmed Tuesday that Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic would rejoin the club next season after a successful debut in Major League Soccer.

A statement from the Galaxy said Ibrahimovic, 37, would return as one of the club’s designated players after scoring 22 goals in 27 games in 2018.

“We are very pleased to sign Zlatan to a new contract that will see him return for the 2019 season,” said LA Galaxy General Manager Dennis te Kloese.

“He showed his value last season and we look forward to him representing our club next year. With Zlatan returning, we will continue to improve our team in advance of the season.”

Ibrahimovic’s return to Los Angeles had been widely expected.

The former Sweden international striker had been linked with a possible return to former club AC Milan but officials at the Serie A outfit ruled out a transfer earlier this month.

Milan’s sporting director Leonardo said Ibrahimovic had vowed to stay with the Galaxy for another season.

Although Ibrahimovic failed to lead the Galaxy into the playoffs this season, he was recently crowned MLS Newcomer of the Year following a dramatic first season in the United States.

“There was a lot of rumours, a lot of whispers around, but actually I never left,” Ibrahimovic said on Tuesday.

I’m not finished yet with the MLS. I started good but I’m still not satisfied for the outcome. 

“I still have things to do, and I see my first year as warming up, and the second year will be a big difference because now I know the league,” he added.

Ibrahimovic arrived in MLS after a glittering career in Europe which included spells with some of the continent’s most famous clubs, including Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Ajax and Manchester United.

He also netted a record 62 goals for Sweden, with star turns in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

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