Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Does It His Way, Making MLS Another League Conquered

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Does It His Way, Making MLS Another League Conquered

Article excerpt

Zlatan Ibrahimovic comes as advertised

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TORONTO - Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a memorable career goal No. 500, signed a fan's forehead and then left town with a parting shot after a 5-3 loss to Toronto FC.

"I'm happy for Toronto because they will be remembered as my 500th victim," the Los Angeles Galaxy star said.

The stylish Swede then tweeted a photo of himself, holding a hammer with a soccer-shaped head and the words "Zlatan, God of Goals."

Zlatan comes as advertised -- larger than life.

No stranger to highlight-reel strikes, Ibrahimovic added another beauty to his collection Saturday.

With the Galaxy down 3-0, Jonathan dos Santos chipped the ball into the box in the 43rd minute. With Ibrahimovic flanked by defenders Michael Bradley and Nick Hagglund, it did not seem like much.

But the six-foot-five Ibrahimovic got a yard clear of his security detail. And then the magic started.

His back to the goal, Ibrahimovic twirled toward the net to get an angle at the ball, flicking his right leg up high to deflect the ball off the post and past stunned goalkeeper Alex Bono for his 17th goal of the season.

When it struck the ball, his foot was at about the height of the six-foot-two Bradley's head.

"I have never seen a full-volley out of the air, roundhouse kick golazo. Thank you Zlatan," tweeted Dax McCarty of the Chicago Fire.

"Wow," "unreal" and "ridiculous" were some of the other social media reactions.

"A typical Zalatan goal," said Toronto midfielder Jonathan Osorio, whose 75th-minute goal proved to be the winner. "I think the crowd gave him an ovation. It was a great goal, don't get me wrong, but I think they were a little bit quick to give him an ovation. It was like they wanted him to score. I didn't like that. But give credit where credit's due."

After scoring, an expressionless Ibrahimovic jogged away from the goal, shaking hands with teammates. The BMO Field crowd of 30,799 rewarded him with a standing ovation.

"Instinct," Ibrahimovic said later of the acrobatic goal. "I mean those things you don't plan. It's impossible to plan. The way it came, I just tried to get it on goal."

"I'm just happy for the Toronto fans that they got to see something they hadn't seen before," he added in typical Zlatan fashion.

Said Toronto coach Greg Vanney: "The finish was something that he can do and I'm not sure how many people, especially his size, can do that."

As Didier Drogba did with Montreal in 2015, Zlatan has taken MLS by storm with big goals and big words. …

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