Sebastian Giovinco explains why Toronto FC are trying to bring in Napoli star Lorenzo Insigne to boost the MLS box office, even though the league is ‘not real football.’
The Atomic Ant was the first big Italian player to join Major League Soccer and Toronto FC when leaving Juventus in February 2015.
He won numerous trophies and awards there until his departure for Al-Hilal in January 2019, and he is now a free agent who could potentially return to Canada alongside Insigne.
In other interviews, Giovinco warned Insigne that moving to MLS would get him “off the radar” for the Italy squad, especially in the build-up to the 2022 World Cup.
“Maybe it won’t happen to him because he is already an important figure for Roberto Mancini, but that is what happened to me,” the Atomic Ant told Sky Sport Italia.
“All I can say is that at the time it was fun, competing against players of a high level, feeling I had something to give. Now with COVID and other things, MLS is on the slide. Lorenzo’s arrival might change that.”
When it is put to him that Major League Soccer isn’t competitive on a global scale, with some even calling it ‘exhibition’ football, Giovinco does not entirely disagree.
“It’s not real football, that’s something else. However, they’ve got good infrastructure and I’d make the decision again, especially for those figures. I advise this experience to anyone because my family and I want to live here, it’s a beautiful city.”
Toronto FC won the MLS Cup and the Supporters’ Shield in 2016-17, but have been empty-handed since 2018.
“Over the last two years, people have stopped going to the stadium, it’s been really empty. There were 30,000 in my day, I went recently and there were at most 2,000 people there.
“I understand the owners want to bring in Insigne, because there is a big Italian community in Toronto. The fans go there to have fun, you don’t get the obsession of Italian supporters.”
Would Giovinco advise that Insigne follow in his footsteps?
“These opportunities only come along once in a lifetime, but my situation was different. He is the captain of Napoli, whereas I couldn’t get playing time.”
Giovinco: “Insigne-Toronto? Il calcio vero è un altro. Ma il treno passa una volta sola” https://t.co/jFohAp6TFO
— TUTTOmercatoWEB (@TuttoMercatoWeb) December 29, 2021