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LA Galaxy

10 Zlatan MLS incidents: from absurdity to aggression

Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Los Angeles Galaxy and Nedum Onuoha of Real Salt Lake argue during the second half of a game at Dignity Health Sports Park

Katharine Lotze

AFP

Ibrahimovic has been praised for his goals and quality on the field but has also received criticism for his controversial attitude towards rivals.

Since his arrival in Major League Soccer in 2018, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has had a huge media impact, with all eyes on him daily; but he's used to the spotlight. The Swedish Lion has given us something positive to talk about, but he has also given us moments full of controversy and criticism in the MLS and here we present them to you.

He screamed goal in Stephen Sunday's face

In June 2018, Zlatan scored a double against Real Salt Lake, and as he celebrated one of his strikes, he shouted in the face of opponent Stephen Sunday.

Slapping Michael Petrasso

On 21 May 2018, Zlatan clashed with Montreal Impact's Michael Petrasso. The defender buried his studs into Ibrahimovic, with the Swede responding by slapping Petrasso and being sent off for his actions.

Romell Quioto coming-together

During week 10 of the 2018 season, Zlatan attacked the Houston Dynamo player Romell Quioto, and although the referee saw him, he only gave him a caution.

Threw a ball at Carlos Vela

Zlatan's debut match was marked by a brace and a win against LAFC; but at one point of the game, he sent Carlos Vela to the ground and threw the ball at him on purpose. "What happens on the field stays there," Ibrahimovic said afterward.

Sean Johnson dispute

In the game against New York City FC, the Galaxy captain fell into Sean Johnson's incitement that ended up with both falling to the ground, an incident that could have become something more serious.

Scoring and making fun of his opponent

Last April during the match against Real Salt Lake, Zlatan mocked marker Nedum Onuoha, after scoring, and argued with the player after the match in the dressing room. Onuoha did not accept the Swede's apology.

He railed against VAR

After the incident he had with Johnson, Zlatan asked the MLS to remove VAR from the league. "We have this VAR, but I think we should take it off and not play with it," he said.

Slapping Lee Nguyen

In another instalment of Zlatan's incidents, he took advantage of a disturbance on the field to leave his mark on the LAFC player.

He refused to attend the MLS All-Star Game

In 2018 the MLS All Stars played against Juventus, with Ibra missing the game and being fined by the league. His reaction? "I think it's ridiculous; no comment. They do what they want; I come from a different world, the real world. It is what it is, I respect it, and I feel for my team-mates because I could not help them in the last match," he said.

Face to face with Michael Bradley

In an LA Galaxy vs Toronto match, Zlatan defended one of his team-mates after a hard tackle by immediately facing up to Michael Bradley. Despite play restarting, they continued their furious exchange.