Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed how “positive” advice from David Beckham helped convince him to join LA Galaxy.
The Swede had his contract cancelled by Manchester United to allow him the opportunity to move to MLS in the twilight stage of his glittering playing career.
His deal with the Galaxy sees him follow in the footsteps of Beckham, who swapped LaLiga for Los Angeles when he left Real Madrid in 2007.
Ibrahimovic played alongside the Englishman at Paris Saint-Germain in 2013 and sought the advice of his former team-mate before signing with his new team.
“Obviously I played with David Beckham at PSG I got to know the person. He’s a fantastic guy, a great family guy and a fantastic footballer,” he told the media.
“He only had positive things to say, I was asking questions and he was only positive. I just got a message from him telling me to enjoy it, it’s my environment.
“He knows how he had it and he took the first step from this generation to MLS. He is super confident and he has another team now, so he should only wish and be happy that I’m not playing in 2020.”
“I feel like Benjamin Button.”
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) March 31, 2018
The 36-year-old’s debut season at United was cut short by a serious knee injury, meaning for the first time he had to endure an extended spell on the sidelines.
Ibrahimovic – who could make his debut against Los Angeles FC on Saturday – now has a new appreciation for the game after going through so much “boring training” during his rehabilitation.
“The injury was something new in my career,” he admitted.
“I played every game and trained every day, that’s me I want to be involved. When I got my injury it was a new situation from top to bottom and I felt my body, I was laying in bed and couldn’t move.
“I started to shake because I’ve been doing this for 20 years – I’m programmed to do this. I did so much boring training but I became stronger mentally.
“I just want to go out there and smell the grass, every time I go out there I want to feel the ball, kick it pass it and run. It took me back to where I began and I appreciate every time I can go out and keep doing what I’ve been doing for the last 20 years.”
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