LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has officially withdrawn from playing in the MLS All-Star Game against Juventus.
“Major League Soccer has been informed by the LA Galaxy that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not participate in the MLS All-Star Game presented by Target on Aug. 1.,” a statement from the league said.
“Per MLS policy, Ibrahimovic will miss the Galaxy’s match that immediately follows the All-Star Game, which is Aug. 4.”
The Galaxy cited Ibrahimovic playing three matches in a week prior to the match, and also because of the increased travelling involved.
“I am disappointed to miss the 2018 All-Star Game against Juventus, one of my former clubs,” Ibrahimovic said to the LA Galaxy website. “I want to thank the fans for voting me to the team. My main focus is to score goals and help the LA Galaxy to the playoffs.”
Ibrahimovic, 36, scored a hat trick that sparked the Galaxy’s 4-3 victory over Orlando City on Sunday, as he has scored 15 goals in 17 games.
“My age is what it is; I’m still proving even if my age what it is, I’m still proving that it’s not about the age. It’s about how you prepare and how you take care of yourself. People were worried how old I am. But don’t worry about my age. You should worry when I slow down.”
“When [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic posts up, it’s like Shaquille O’Neal or people like that; you just don’t move them,” said Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid. “And, what we’ve learned as a team is that we’ve tried to take advantage of that.”