Zlatan Ibrahimovic has told ESPN FC there should be no comparisons between his first goal for LA Galaxy and the bicycle kick Cristiano Ronaldo scored for Real Madrid in the Champions League win over Juventus on Tuesday.
Both goals were praised by the teammates, commentators and fans, with Ibrahimovic being named the MLS Player of the Week, but the LA Galaxy striker said the two goals are not equal.
“I think it’s a big difference, because he scored in the Champions League, I scored in MLS,” Ibrahimovic told ESPN FC. “It’s a big difference.
“A goal is a goal. If you can help your team to score a goal, it’s important, however you score. But when you score beautiful, of course, it’s more … nice, let’s say, that it’s beautiful. It feels really good.”
Later, when asked about Ronaldo’s goal on SportsCenter, Ibrahimovic said: “I think he is a goal machine. he scored a beautiful goal today but he should try it from 40 metres and see if it goes in.”
Ibrahimovic’s introduction to Los Angeles could not have gone better as he scored two goals in the Galaxy’s 4-3 come-from-behind win over LAFC.
He said the first goal, scored from 35 yards, felt right as soon as it left his boot.
“When the situation came, it’s about thinking fast, and I saw the goalkeeper was standing out,” Ibrahimovic said. “When I approached the ball, it landed perfectly, and even when I touched the ball, I felt immediately like, ‘This one is going in.’
“I just needed to wait for it to hit the net, because you can feel those things immediately when it’s a perfect touch. And it went in and the whole stadium went crazy, the teammates, I went crazy. And to describe that feeling is difficult.”
The Galaxy defeated LAFC thanks to Ibrahimovic’s stoppage-time winner, but the striker insisted that he was only doing what was expected of him in the derby.
“I played a lot of derbies, I played a lot of [rivalry] games, and I know it’s a lot going on in the game and emotions, pressure, moments, adrenaline — all these kind of things,” Ibrahimovic said. “I mean, I was pumped. I came in to do my job, and nobody will stop me.”
As for the adjustment to Los Angeles, Ibrahimovic said it has been a positive transition and that it has helped him having familiarity with the city and welcoming teammates.
“They are all excited,” Ibrahimovic said. “They’re all happy and triggered. I mean, I’ve been training two days, total three days, and everything has gone positive.
“Coach [Sigi Schmid] is cool. He’s active, talking a lot to the players, making everybody feel comfortable. The whole surrounding is good. Something is going on. You can see it. I just want to be part of it and help the teammates, help the coach, help the fans and help the city for what it is.”