Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Gareth Bale under intense pressure at Real Madrid


While everyone has been busy applauding and congratulating Gareth Bale on his world record transfer, a mega-move that he’s been dreaming about his entire life, you can count on Zlatan Ibrahimovic to try and bring Bale back down to earth with a thud.

“No footballer is worth paying that amount of money for,” Ibrahimovic said. “There is a lot of pressure on him.”

But the Paris Saint-Germain striker wasn’t finished.

“I know that when Zinedine Zidane played for Madrid, the fans were whistling against him,” Ibrahimovic continued. “If they can whistle against Zidane, for me one of the best players in history, I hope Bale has a lot of patience.”

You may be asking exactly what Ibra is trying to achieve by making these comments?

Well, he is one of the most transferred players in today’s game and has been bought and sold for astronomical fees over the years. Clubs likes Ajax, Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have all paid huge fees for the services of the towering Swedish forward. So, even though the comments from the 31-year-old PSG striker seem slightly harsh, he has a better sense than most at what pressures come with making a big move to one of world soccer’s greatest teams.

Clubs have spent over $190 million on Ibrahimovic throughout his glittering career and the biggest transfer of all, his switch from Inter Milan to Barcelona in 2009, did not got well. Still the third largest transfer fee in world history, Zlatan switched the San Siro for the Camp Nou in an $84 million deal. But his stay in Catalan lasted for just one year after the big money move went wrong.

A warning to Bale perhaps? Eh, maybe.

But there is a reason why Ibrahimovic keeps hopping from club-to-club; he’s a volatile character who openly shares his opinions and as a result if things aren’t going his way then the situation goes downhill rapidly. Yet Welsh international Bale has a completely different attitude and outlook, much more positive and team-orientated, I know that for a fact.

However the former Tottenham Hotspur star will be getting plenty of advice from every single person he meets right now. So Zlatan Ibrahimovic has joined the queue.

And even though many will scoff at the negativity of Zlatan’s comments, Bale shouldn’t dismiss them altogether. The 24-year-old Welshman should learn from Ibra’s mistakes because the wise old Swede has experience on his side, no matter if you agree or disagree with how he’s conducted himself in the past. That and he’s one of the best strikers in the world, scoring 30 goals in 34 league games for PSG last season as they won the French title.

The pressure at Real will be something entirely new to Bale, but he probably knew that already. Thanks anyway, Ibra.

MLS Snapshot: Seattle Sounders 1-1 Los Angeles Galaxy

Robbie Keane
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The game in 100 words (or less): The Los Angeles Galaxy became the second team in the Western Conference to clinch a berth in the playoffs following a 1-1 draw against the Seattle Sounders. A terrible mistake from Seattle defender Zach Scott led to an easy goal for Robbie Keane, and it looked like that would be the winner until deep into stoppage time. In the 93rd minute, Chad Barrett got his knee on a corner kick to save a draw for Seattle, although the point was enough for LA. The Galaxy join FC Dallas as the two Western Conference teams headed to the postseason.

[ RELATED: Who will take over as Liverpool manager? ]

Three moments that mattered

36′ — Robbie Keane capitalizes on Seattle’s mistake — Zach Scott misplayed a ball across the Sounders’ back line, as Robbie Keane intercepted the pass and finished one of the easiest goals he’s going to score. A true striker’s goal, Keane doesn’t miss ones like this.

64′ — Steven Gerrard denied by the woodwork — Los Angeles nearly made it 2-0 right after the hour mark, but Steven Gerrard was just inches off. Gerrard rose up to meet a corner kick from Juninho, but his header took a deflection and hit the crossbar before being cleared out of the box by Seattle.

90’+3′ — Chad Barrett finds a late, late equalizer — Just when it looked like LA was going to leave Seattle with a win, Chad Barrett stole a point for the Sounders. Marco Pappa whipped in a corner kick to the near post, which was flicked on by Brad Evans. Barrett surged into the box and got a knee on the ball as the match ended in a draw.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Steven Gerrard

Goalscorers: Keane (36′), Barrett (90’+3′)

MLS Snapshot: Colorado Rapids 1-2 Real Salt Lake

SANDY UT - MARCH 14: Olmes Garcia #13 of Real Salt Lake celebrates his goal during their game against the Philadelphia Union at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 14, 2015 in Sandy, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
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The game in 100 words (or less): Real Salt Lake stays alive in the hunt for a playoff berth in the Western Conference with a crucial 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. After falling behind early, RSL scored twice before halftime and held onto the lead for the rest of the match, moving within three points of the final playoff spot in the West. Real Salt Lake has three matches remaining, including a massive clash against the Portland Timbers, which will pretty much decide their season. For Colorado, it’s another year without playoff soccer.

[ MORE: FC Dallas clinches playoff berth ]

Three moments that mattered

16′ — Doyle heads Colorado into the lead — The former Premier League man gave the home side an early lead, thanks to a powerful header from quite a bit out. Sean St. Ledger played in a cross, where Doyle snapped a header into the top corner past Nick Rimando.

33′ — Joao Plata bends in the free kick — Trailing 1-0, Joao Plata drew RSL level with a brilliant free kick. Plata’s shot dipped over the wall and under the crossbar, as Clint Irwin stood helpless in goal for Colorado.

43′ — Mulholland fires home a volley to put RSL ahead — Luke Mulholland scored his first goal of the season, and it was a beauty. A corner kick popped out to the midfielder at the top of the box, as he rifled a shot off the bounce and into the side netting.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Luke Mulholland

Goalscorers: Doyle (16′), Plata (33′), Mulholland (43′)