TORONTO — Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the gift that keeps giving, both in front of goal and a microphone.
No stranger to highlight-reel goals, the Los Angeles Galaxy star added another memorable strike to his collection in a losing cause Saturday as he notched career goal No. 500 in a 5-3 loss to Toronto FC.
With the Galaxy down 3-0, Jonathan dos Santos chipped the ball into the box in the 43rd minute. With Ibrahimovic flanked by defenders Michael Bradley and Nick Hagglund, it did not seem like much.
But the six-foot-five Ibrahimovic got a yard clear of his security detail. And then the magic started.
His back to the goal, the stylish Swede twirled toward the net to get an angle at the ball, flicking his right leg up high to deflect the ball past goalkeeper Alex Bono for his 17th goal of the season.
"I have never seen a full-volley out of the air, roundhouse kick golazo. Thank you Zlatan," tweeted Dax McCarty of the Chicago Fire.
"Wow," "unreal" and "ridiculous" were some of the other social media reactions.
After scoring, an expressionless Ibrahimovic jogged away from the goal, shaking hands with teammates. The BMO Field crowd of 30,799 rewarded him with a standing ovation.
"Instinct," Ibrahimovic said later of the acrobatic goal. "I mean those things you don't plan. It's impossible to plan. The way it came, I just tried to get it on goal."
"I'm just happy for the Toronto fans that they got to see something they hadn't seen before," he added in typical Zlatan fashion.
Said Toronto coach Greg Vanney: "The finish was something that he can do and I'm not sure how many people, especially his size, can do that."
The Galaxy star, who came into the game tied for second in MLS scoring, joins Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo as the only active players with 500 goals for club and country.
Sixty-two of Ibrahimovic's goals have come for Sweden. The rest came in the colours of Malmo FF (18), Ajax (48), Juventus (26), Inter Milan (66), Barcelona (22), AC Milan (56), Paris Saint-Germain (156), Manchester United (29) and the Galaxy (17).
He said he had scored a similar goal for Ajax "but I think this one was more beautiful."
"This one was nice. I don't want to be too positive because I lost the game and I hate to lose. But it was a nice goal. I didn't check yet the video but I got a lot of messages that were saying I'm totally crazy. So it means I did something crazy."
Ibrahimovic had a run-in with Toronto captain Michael Bradley later in the game.
"I think he's the philosopher of football," Ibrahimovic said with a smirk. "I have more goals than he has games. He should follow my rules."
The 36-year-old Ibrahimovic has had a good week. He learned he is the top-rated MLS player in the new FIFA 19 video game, ahead of New York City FC's David Villa and Toronto's Sebastian Giovinco.
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