Manchester United manager José Mourinho has admitted that Zlatan Ibrahimović's move to LA Galaxy will be a huge loss to European football, drawing on comparisons to Portugal legend Luís Figo's retirement back in 2009.
Ibrahimović had his contract at Old Trafford mutually terminated last week and the former Paris Saint-Germain striker then confirmed he would be moving to America to join LA Galaxy.
The Swedish forward received messages from across the footballing world after confirming his move to MLS and Mourinho believes that Ibrahimović will be invaluable in helping grow football in America.
"For me, it's always sad when the big players move towards the end," Mourinho admitted, quoted by Sky Sports. "I remember Luís Figo's last match with me at Inter, it was one of my saddest moments. I always feel sad when the big ones finish or go to the last period of their career.
"The Zlatan goodbye was more in that direction, he's a huge, big player that top European Football is losing now and will lose forever because he will not be back to this level of football."
Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be available for selection and it looks like he'll make his Los Angeles Galaxy debut on Saturday vs. LAFC.— Roger Gonzalez (@RGonzalezCBS) March 28, 2018
Ibrahimović has worked under Mourinho at Inter and Manchester United. The Portuguese manager has always been full of praise for the 36-year-old star and he believes Ibra will bring invaluable experience to the MLS.
"It will be very good for American football because of what he can do, what he can teach, what he can attract," Mourinho added. "His personality, his passion for football and the level of professionalism he always has.
"Even his recovery from his injury was an example of what a professional should be. I think it's the MLS and US, as a football country, that is going to get more than what Zlatan is going to get from it. For him it will just be a way to enjoy the last couple of years of football."