Earlier this week, Zlatan Ibrahimovic did what Zlatan Ibrahimovic does best and decided to talk some shit. He questioned the validity of Carlos Vela’s career, declared that he was the best player in MLS “by far,” and said that on the pitch he’s “like a Ferrari among Fiats.” The timing of these comments was certainly calculated as the LA Galaxy (Ibrahimovic’s team) were scheduled to play their cross-town rivals, LAFC, in the derby affectionately known as El Trafico. It’s also the rivalry where Ibrahimovic announced himself to the league last year and scored a fucking incredible golazo.
On Friday, Ibrahimovic backed up his shit-talking as he scored a hat trick against his team’s league-leading opponents. His first goal made a mockery of the word “defense” and came as a result of a volley to himself. His second came off a classic header, and the third was a shot from outside the box that curled just past LAFC keeper Tyler Miller.
Soon after the referee blew the final whistle, the tensions of the rivalry seemed to continue. An LAFC coach* got into it with the Swedish superstar as the two were leaving the pitch. Not a whole lot of audio was captured, except for one bit where you can hear Ibrahimovic tell the coach “go home, you little bitch.”
The bravado unsurprisingly continued during his postgame press conference, where, to his credit, he did compliment Vela on his abilities—the Mexican forward scored both of LAFC’s goals—but also continued to stand by his previous statements.
“Please do not offend me, I don’t need to prove nothing, even if I don’t score the goals today,” Ibrahimovic told a postmatch news conference.
“I have a lot of respect for Vela, he’s a good player, but you did one mistake, you compared him with me, that was your biggest mistake.”
“I have my confidence and I believe in myself. People call it arrogant, I call it confidence. Ignorant people call it arrogant, intelligent people call it confidence,” Ibrahimovic said.
“I have a bulletproof mind. When I go out there, I know what I’m able to prove — and I do it good.”
The two teams are scheduled to face off again on Aug. 25, which will surely feature another incredible performance, and likely another petty insult directed towards an opponent, from Ibrahimovic.
Correction: This post incorrectly identified the coach that Ibrahimovic called a “little bitch” as Bob Bradley. It has been updated. Our apologies.