Zlatan calls Galaxy 'number one priority'

Zlatan Ibrahimovic expressed disappointment of not making it to the MLS playoffs in his first season with the USA club.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic said he is not thinking about retirement.   -  AP

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, having played for several of Europe's finest clubs since his top-level debut 20 years ago, says the Los Angeles Galaxy are now his top priority.

The 37-year-old forward said Saturday he is staying with the Major League Soccer side for the 2019 campaign because he longs to restore them to past glories.

“My number one priority was to stay in the Galaxy,” Ibrahimovic said at MLS Media Day. “I felt that I still had a lot to offer to the Galaxy.”

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The Galaxy finished one point off a playoff spot in Ibrahimovic's first MLS campaign after he moved to the US following spells at Juventus, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Ajax and Manchester United.

“The way we finished the season is not normal for me because normally where I go, I win,” he said.

“The fans deserve more for what they've done all season. Not even getting to the playoffs was something new for me. It was catastrophic not to make the playoffs, but having done it in sixth place would have been catastrophic.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic in action for LA Galaxy   -  Getty Images

 

With flashy stars like Ibrahimovic and Mexico's Jonathan and Giovani Dos Santos, the Galaxy was a major disappointment, offering a challenge Ibrahimovic warmly accepts.

“I felt I had the challenge of winning with this team,” he said.

“The first year was more to see how I was after being almost a year and a half without playing because of an injury and in 10 minutes I showed the world what was still going on.”

But he only signed a one-year deal, uncertain how many more seasons remained in a career that began with Swedish side Malmo in 1999.

“I want to play as long as I can,” he said. “I'll continue while I can do it.”