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MLS releases list of 25 greatest ever players. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a notable omission

In Major League Soccer's 25th season, December 9 saw the release of "The 25 Greatest," recognizing the best to play in the league, including David Beckham. Former U.S. midfielder Cobi Jones spoke about the list to CNN.

Posted: Dec 9, 2020 11:11 PM
Updated: Dec 9, 2020 11:11 PM

"I came, I saw, I conquered," read Zlatan Ibrahimovic's tweet confirming he was leaving MLS at the end of last season. The Swedish soccer star might be confident he conquered North American football, but Ibrahimovic is a notable omission in the MLS' list of its 25 greatest ever players.

Reaching its landmark 25th season in 2020, MLS released "The 25 Greatest" on Wednesday to acknowledge the players who, in the words of the league, "achieved the most on the field, drove the narrative off the field and helped lay the foundation or set the course going forward."

And with the likes of David Beckham, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan and Carlos Valderrama making the cut, Ibrahmovic was squeezed out.

It was in March 2018 that Ibrahimovic announced himself to American sports fans with a ludicrous long-range volley on his MLS debut as he helped his Los Angeles Galaxy side beat crosstown rivals LAFC.

Until his departure at the end of the 2019 season, Ibrahimovic feasted on defenses at the rate of nearly a goal (52) every game (56) and undoubtedly helped raise the profile of the league globally, just as Beckham did during his spell in Los Angeles a decade earlier.

Cocksure swagger

Ibrahimovic's brief spell in the league will forever be remembered for not just his trademark goals but cocksure swagger.

Not for nothing did the Swede make his stateside move official by taking out a signed full-page advert in the Los Angeles Times, with only the words "Dear Los Angeles, you're welcome" above his name.

Ibrahimovic cared little for the observation that foreign footballers join MLS in the twilight of their careers, with a twinkle in his eye telling CNN Sport in early 2019, "imagine what will happen this season" when it was pointed out that he once said, "the older I get, the better I get, like red wine."

The goals flowed, with his vintage performances often leaving supporters drooling in admiration. But Ibrahimovic could not bring trophies to Los Angeles, unlike his spells in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France and England.

Now aged 39 and playing for AC Milan, Ibrahimovic continues to make good on his prophesy that he improves with age.

Milan are undefeated and five points clear at the top of Serie A, and Ibrahimovic is the league's top scorer, with 10 goals in only six appearances.

He is not the only notable foreign name missing from "The 25 Greatest." Thierry Henry, David Villa, Carlos Vela and Wayne Rooney are all missing too, with domestic talents such as Michael Bradley omitted as well.

Older generation

One unabashed supporter of the Swede making "The 25 Greatest" was MLS Commissioner Don Garber, who admitted to CNN Sport that he thought "Zlatan should have been on that list."

While noting that he did not get a vote, Garber felt the forward was "one of the more exciting and productive players in the short time that he was in MLS."

The former US Men's National Team midfielder and two-time MLS Cup winner Cobi Jones -- who did make the list -- told CNN Sport this week that "it looks like they [MLS] are giving a little bit of love to some of that older generation within MLS that helped kick it off, even though there is a sprinkling of others along the way."

Ibrahimovic certainly sprinkled his magic over the best part of two years but it was not deemed enough. Perhaps he will take out another newspaper advert to express any updated thoughts on the matter.

The 25 players to make the list are:

• Jeff Agoos

• Kyle Beckerman

• David Beckham

• Carlos Bocanegra

• Dwayne De Rosario

• Clint Dempsey

• Landon Donovan

• Marco Etcheverry

• Robin Fraser

• Sebastian Giovinco

• Kevin Hartman

• Cobi Jones

• Robbie Keane

• Chad Marshall

• Josef Martinez

• Tony Meola

• Jaime Moreno

• Eddie Pope

• Preki

• Steve Ralston

• Nick Rimando

• Carlos Valderrama

• Diego Valeri

• Chris Wondolowski

• Bradley Wright-Phillips

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 293542

Reported Deaths: 6638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19560229
Hinds18674385
Harrison16512276
Rankin12595262
Jackson12451217
Lee9663160
Madison9400195
Jones7891145
Forrest7140136
Lauderdale6784225
Lowndes6008137
Lamar584480
Lafayette5707113
Washington5159128
Bolivar4594120
Oktibbeha439991
Panola426892
Pearl River4116128
Warren4114113
Pontotoc407368
Marshall399492
Monroe3980126
Union392873
Neshoba3767166
Lincoln3464100
Hancock339973
Leflore3358118
Sunflower317185
Tate300874
Pike298393
Scott292567
Alcorn290360
Itawamba288871
Yazoo283862
Tippah275665
Copiah274557
Coahoma272766
Simpson271778
Prentiss268658
Leake251770
Wayne251340
Marion250778
Covington247878
Grenada245876
Adams233277
George230645
Newton224751
Winston220275
Jasper211844
Tishomingo211765
Attala206269
Chickasaw200650
Holmes181670
Clay178149
Stone171429
Tallahatchie169839
Clarke168671
Calhoun156428
Smith151831
Yalobusha142936
Greene126833
Walthall123540
Noxubee122729
Perry121434
Montgomery121237
Lawrence119321
Carroll117623
Amite110832
Webster109929
Jefferson Davis100531
Tunica98623
Claiborne97729
Benton93124
Humphreys91626
Kemper89522
Quitman77014
Franklin75519
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61427
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491110

Reported Deaths: 9831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson706291356
Mobile35894721
Madison32255442
Tuscaloosa23996409
Montgomery22462494
Shelby21820215
Baldwin19670274
Lee14900150
Morgan13599249
Calhoun13175285
Etowah13143319
Marshall11226206
Houston10048259
Elmore9337183
Limestone9335134
Cullman8869179
St. Clair8783220
Lauderdale8581210
DeKalb8429174
Talladega7481163
Walker6504251
Jackson6477102
Autauga620389
Blount6086125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5230102
Dale4621106
Russell401831
Franklin397876
Covington3956106
Chilton384298
Escambia377172
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke342949
Dallas3397141
Chambers3392108
Pike293071
Lawrence281384
Marion280894
Winston246166
Bibb244260
Geneva238670
Marengo233354
Pickens223954
Barbour209951
Hale208868
Fayette199756
Butler195165
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe165938
Randolph163140
Washington156634
Crenshaw143554
Clay143354
Macon140943
Cleburne136839
Lamar131732
Lowndes130648
Wilcox120825
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98431
Coosa87823
Greene87032
Choctaw54823
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