When you claim you’re “like a ” in a league full of “ts” you’d better back it up.

Well yet again, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has proved he’s as good as his word.

Earlier in the week, the 37-year-old LA Galaxy striker was asked whether he was still the best player in the MLS, given Los Angeles FC forward Carlos Vela is the top scorer this season.

Answer: “By far. Because if he’s [Vela] in his prime. How old is he? 29. And he’s playing in MLS and he’s in his prime. When I was 29 [I was in ]. Big difference.”

Zing.

So on Friday night the two strikers featured on opposite sides of the Los Angles derby – ‘El Trafico’ to locals – and you can probably guess what happened next.

Vela scored twice to take his tally to 21 goals for the season. Ibrahimovic scored a hat-trick. And a perfect hat-trick at that – right foot, left foot, header.

“When you play against a rival like that, in a full stadium, I get pumped. I get adrenaline. This is considered to be the biggest game in the league and I show up in the biggest games,” said the Swede after the match.

“I am in play-off mode every day.”

The former , Inter, and Ajax, striker now has 41 goals in 44 MLS games and 520 career goals across all leagues.

He opened the scoring with a volley over the head of two LAFC defenders, letting the ball bounce before blasting a long-range effort into the back of the net.

And he’s got history in this fixture – he made his MLS debut in March 2018 against LAFC, scoring two goals including a 91st-minute winner.

Zlatan gonna Zlatan…

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