Zlatan Ibrahimovic told reporters he eats criticism of him for "breakfast ... and then for lunch" following the LA Galaxy's 2-0 win over Sporting KC on Wednesday night.
Ibrahimovic, 37, scored and assisted in the win in his first match back since serving a two-game suspension for an altercation with goalkeeper Sean Johnson in the Galaxy's 2-0 loss to New York City FC on May 11.
The incident came on the heels of Ibrahimovic being fined for diving in a loss to the Columbus Crew, while he also was the subject of some negative press for alleged verbal threats and a post-match confrontation with Real Salt Lake defender Nedum Onuoha.
However, the former Sweden international said of his critics: "Criticism is everywhere. I like it. I eat it for breakfast ... and then for lunch."
The win was the Galaxy's second in a row, but it came on the back of a four game skid that saw them lose touch with local rivals LAFC atop Major League Soccer's Western Conference, though they remain in second place on 28 points following recent victories.
"We had a good run with the six games in a row and then we had a bad week and a half, losing four in a row," Ibrahimovic said. "That shouldn't have happened. Our target is not top four. Our target is No. 1. I don't care about seven [playoff places], I care about one. That's what we are playing for."
Ibrahimovic set up Favio Alvarez for the Galaxy's first goal against SKC and was on the receiving end of a pinpoint Uriel Antuna cross as he scored the second, a sign he's developing chemistry with the two new arrivals at StubHub Center.
"It was good," Ibrahimovic said. "We played with two strikers in the first half and we created good chances. I think we should have scored one or two goals.
"In the second half we changed the system again and it helped because we could close the spaces more because Kansas plays good football. They have a good system.
"You need to have patience against them and then punish them when you steal the ball or they make a mistake."
The Galaxy return home to host the New England Revolution on June 2 (live at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+) in a match that could see former manager Bruce Arena in the opposing dugout after he took over as sporting director and coach of the struggling Eastern Conference team on May 14 following the sacking of Brad Friedel.