LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Zlatan Ibrahimovic said on Saturday he plans to take it one season at a time with LA Galaxy, who re-signed the Swedish striker to a one-year deal last month.
Former Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic attends a meeting with media representatives on the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow, Russia June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
Ibrahimovic, who joined Galaxy in March after leaving Premier League side Manchester United, enjoyed an impressive debut in North America and was named MLS Newcomer of the Year.
The 37-year-old was mentioned in transfer speculation involving his former team AC Milan last year but ultimately decided to return to the Galaxy in the hopes of taking them to the playoffs.
“I probably could sign two years, three years, four years — that is how much the Galaxy believe in me. But I said one year at a time,” he told reporters at MLS Media Day in Los Angeles.
“For the moment, I feel I can give back. I don’t want to put the club in a situation where I cannot perform and they have me, especially under these strict rules.
“I said, let’s do one year at a time. If I feel good, I’ll stay and perform, so you don’t need to have me running around and I’m not performing and the budget is what it is.”
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.
Despite his stellar play the Galaxy missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
Ibrahimovic, who has won league titles in Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and France, said that outcome was bitterly disappointing.
“We didn’t even make the playoffs. For me, that is something new. It’s catastrophic not to make the playoffs,” he said.
“But, for me, to make the playoff as the sixth position is also catastrophic because either you’re number one or you’re nothing.”
Editing by Peter Rutherford