Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s stunning MLS debut is starting to look like an exception

The Swede’s LA Galaxy career is still in its infancy but his red card this week came as his new team continues to struggle

It was a moment completely and utterly befitting of the theatre that follows Zlatan Ibrahimovic wherever he struts. Video of the Swede’s first goal for the LA Galaxy, a 35-year drive over the goalkeeper, was replayed around the world. It clocked up over 3m views on Twitter and 3.6m views on Facebook. It made ESPN’s SportsCenter and sparked discussion among soccer fans everywhere. On and off the field vindication of Ibrahimovic’s move to California couldn’t have come any quicker.

This week, another clip of Ibrahimovic went viral. It too was viewed by fans across the planet, but this time it showed him slapping Michael Petrasso of the Montreal Impact for treading on his toe. Despite falling to the ground himself in an attempt to win the referee’s sympathy, the Swede was flashed a straight red card following a video review. It was a snapshot of how things have changed for Ibrahimovic in the two months since his debut. Frustration is bubbling to the surface.

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