Zlatan Ibrahimovic has labelled the press' decision to compare him with LAFC's MVP candidate Carlos Vela as a “big mistake” after the Swede securing bragging rights for the Galaxy with a hat-trick performance in Friday's MLS headline clash.
Former Arsenal man Vela has been enjoying a stellar season, bagging 21 goals in 20 appearances, including two in Friday's derby, helping Bob Bradley's side to the top of the Western Conference and himself to the top of the Golden Boot charts.
Ahead of the match, Ibra had been asked if his own talents exceed those of the Mexican, to which he replied “by far”, pointing to the fact that Vela is playing out the peak years of his career in the US rather than in a more competitive European league.
The 37-year-old backed up his jibes, however, netting three goals in a stunning performance in the Los Angeles derby and – in true Zlatan fashion – took a swipe at the media who he felt were wrong to even consider comparing the attackers.
“I have a lot of respect for Vela,” the outspoken veteran told the press. “He's a good player but you made one mistake: you compared him with me. That was your biggest mistake.
“I believe in myself. People call it arrogant, I call it confidence. Ignorant people call it arrogant, intelligent people call it confidence.”
Tensions were high after the match, with Ibrahimovic caught on camera telling LAFC coach Bradley to “go home, you little b*tch” following an on-field debate once the final whistle had been blown.
After cooling off however, the striker, who referred to himself as a “Ferrari amongst Fiats” in the build-up to the clash, continued the metaphor by joking that he had plenty in the gas tank during the showpiece match-up.
“The Ferrari had a lot of fuel today,” he said. “It was a good game. We conceded the last goal in the end - that wasn't necessary, we should have held it.
“But we won the game and that's most important. We did a good game, I think the fans were happy. And, yeah, the rival of LA... we don't need to say any more.
“It feels good. Every time you score three goals it's a nice feeling – especially against LAFC. I told you I would make them famous and make them remember me.”