Is Zlatan Really the Best Player in the MLS?

…That’s what he says…

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Los Angeles Galaxy star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, besides his superb soccer skills, is famous for his outlandishly arrogant and egotistical remarks. Recently in an interview he stated that he is currently the best player in the MLS, even at age 37.

Is that true? We might automatically say no and push it to the side and say it’s just another prideful athlete talking about his accolades. Let’s look into it.

On July 20th he backed up his words from the day before that he was “by far” the best player in the league and that he “was a Ferrari among Fiats.” The Galaxy beat the best team in the MLS, LAFC in the rivalry game between the two LA teams, dubbed “El Trafico.”

Zlatan scores the second of his three goals in “El Trafico” https://www.lagconfidential.com/2019/7/19/20701614/zlatan-ibrahimovic-bags-el-trafico-hat-trick-in-style

The Galaxy did not just beat them though, Zlatan scored all three goals to lift them to a 3-2 win. And they were impressive goals too.

Zlatan, a Swedish player that has played for multiple high level European clubs, moved to the MLS last season, as many talented stars do after they become “too old” for Europe.

This season, Zlatan has 16 goals to his name, while LAFC’s Carlos Vela leads all scorers with 21. Vela also has 12 assists, tied for the most in the league.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Carlos Vela
https://news.culturacolectiva.com/mundo/ibrahimovic-a-vela-a-los-29-el-jugaba-en-europa/

If we take Zlatan’s age (he’s 37) into consideration, he is playing significantly better than the 29 year old Vela. It is extremely unlikely Vela will be playing like Zlatan is now when he’s 37, if Vela is even still playing.

Zlatan, Vela, Wayne Rooney, and Josef Martinez are all somewhat close to the title of “Best MLS Player,” and the contest may be closer than Zlatan thinks it is.

However, as of now, Zlatan Ibrahimovic seems to be edging out his competitors.

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Sources

https://www.mlssoccer.com/stats

https://www.goal.com/en-us/lists/zlatan-rooney-and-the-top-50-players-in-mls/hx86snr730dp1vauo39htibwo

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2 thoughts on “Is Zlatan Really the Best Player in the MLS?

  1. He may be the best as of right now, but he only has a few years left before he’s out of top shape and ability to compete even in the MLS level of play.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brendan Sinclair August 11, 2019 — 9:41 pm

    I think that you made a lot of fair points throughout this post. I agree that Zlatan is doing incredible things for his age, however; I don’t think that alone warrants the title of “Best Player in MLS”. From the few games I’ve seen of Zlatan this season, it’s clear that he is still a great player, but he’s lost a lot of the athleticism which made him such a great player. Compared to how he played in his prime he’s completely different. In recent years he has become more of a target man for his teammates to play the ball into, whereas he used to drop deep and make things happen. Nowadays he’s nothing without service from his teammates and when it doesn’t come he fades from the game.

    Like

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