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Ibrahimovic on Bradley: “He should follow my rules”


Saturday’s eight-goal thriller between Toronto FC and the LA Galaxy saw the defending MLS champs pick up a crucial three points. It also saw the Galaxy fight back from a three-goal deficit, a wonder goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and a spat between the Swede and Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley.

Ibrahimovic took exception to Bradley’s actions in the 92nd minute of the match, after it looked like the USMNT midfielder was trying to referee Nima Seghafi to issue a yellow card after Galaxy midfielder Ema Boateng fouled Toronto’s Marky Delgado.

A clearly frustrated Ibrahimovic walked into Bradley’s path to Seghafi and the two exchanged words for a good while, mostly consisting of Ibrahimovic yelling expletives at Bradley. The exchange continued on before TFC sealed a 5-3 victory with a late goal by Jay Chapman.

Ibrahimovic wasn’t done with Bradley after the match, taking a jab at the former USMNT captain.

“He thinks he is the philosopher of football,” Ibrahimovic said. ” I have more goals than he has games. He should follow my rules.”

The Swede netted his 500th career goal after his scissor kick beat Alex Bono in the first-half. It was a terrific piece of skill from Ibrahimovic who helped spark a slight comeback in the match. Even the Toronto faithful applauded his goal, which did not go unnoticed to the 36-year-old striker.

“It’s not the first time I’ve gotten a standing ovation from the away team,” Ibrahimovic said. “Not many guys have scored 500 goals in a career so now I am one of them, it would’ve been better if we won the game but it’s something I am not going to hide from.”

As for TFC, the win helped the defending champion bounce back from a pair of defeats and sees them nine points back of sixth place with six matches to play.

Bradley stressed the importance of the victory for Toronto in his postmatch remarks, stating he wasn’t worried about Zlatan or the dust-up between them.

“I’m not worried about perfect, I’m not worried about Zlatan, I’m just worried about three points,” Bradley said.

On Monday, Bradley addressed the incident on ESPN’s Max and Herc Podcast:


  1. you know what else is funny? in hockey, the players just drop their gloves on the ice and start punching the crap out of each other right then and there. yes? and the hockey league basically allows this. yes? but i’m against that. i think it’s bad for the kids to see adults settle their issues that way. seriously glad fighting is not a part of soccer and hope it never will be.

  2. Not ripping on Bradley who held his own in this little spat, but MLS needs to just stop the yelling, discussing, begging for cards at/from the ref. Just a needless waste of the fans’ time.

    Never changes anything, most time the players are wrong. Especially when they KNOW they weren’t offsides and make a complete fool of themselves by screaming at the side judge. Keane. Just outlaw it.

    I do love Zlatan vs Bradley however. Up the energy.

  3. At 36 he is still scoring breathe taking goals……can you imagine an LA Galaxy team with Bruce as coach and “a then” Robbie Keane playing up top with the Zlatan?????

    Even as a DC United fan, I can’t help but love the guy ??

  4. I think they are both right in their own way. Bradley is hardly the first player to try to get a referee to award a yellow card, nor will he be the last. And, of course, he’s not supposed to do that, but I’m sure Zlatan has done that numerous times in his career. And Zlatan is a giant of the game while Bradley is captain of TFC. Meanwhile,TFC won, while the Galaxy lost a crucial game, a fact that both would agree was paramount..


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