Zlatan Ibrahimovic needed to get going. The star striker was in the midst of
The moment would have come and gone without much attention if the defender in question, Nedum Onouha, didn't proceed to bash Ibrahimovic in post-game interviews for
While you can certainly argue that visiting the visiting team's locker room after an emotionally-charged match wasn't the best idea, the notion that Ibrahimovic did something wrong by engaging in mental warfare with an opponent during a professional soccer match is a
The former Manchester United striker isn't everybody's cup of tea — and that reality was made clear in the wake of this latest incident, as evidenced by the waves of condemnation of Ibrahimovic's
Only he did take the
Onuoha wasn't wrong in his assessment that stars like Ibrahimovic are treated differently in MLS, and the LA Galaxy ace isn't the
That isn't to say players are allowed to say anything they want on the field. Racist slurs are clearly off-limits and it just so happens that a player in the American second division, the USL, was cut loose by his team after aiming racial slurs at an opponent the day before Ibrahimovic's incident with Onuoha. It was the kind of swift justice racist
What Ibrahimovic is being accused of falls well below that same standard of bad
Was it a bad look for Ibrahimovic to taunt Onuoha after scoring? Absolutely, and if there was anything for him to be apologetic about, it was that reaction, but he was clearly caught up in the moment. Once the match ended, Ibrahimovic visited RSL's locker room to smooth things over, and offered to shake Onuoha's hand in an attempt to show there were no hard feelings — though at no point has he or anyone associated with the Galaxy confirmed Onuoha's description of the post-game locker room visit as an actual apology.
What Ibrahimovic did say was that what happens on the field stays on the field, and after scoring the game-winning goal, it's difficult to imagine the forward regretted anything he did. More than likely, Ibrahimovic probably came away surprised at the fact that Onuoha took his trash-talking so personally and stayed upset about it even after the final whistle blew.
Trash talk doesn't make Ibrahimovic a thug or a bully, least of all when his trash talk is aimed at the biggest player on the opposing team. It's what he needed to do to get himself going and Onuoha's job was to stop him and he failed. His post-match diatribe over Ibrahimovic's
The Galaxy and Real Salt Lake are scheduled to meet again later this season, on September 25 in Utah, and if both players are on the field, you can rest assured it will be must-see TV. Onouha will have his chance to let his play do the talking, which is his prerogative, but Ibrahimovic will also have his chance to