Smiles were wide on the faces of Toronto FC officials on Monday as they introduced their new Designated Player, Lorenzo Insigne, to members of the media.
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“What started as a simple dream in September 2021 has become a reality, launched the president of the Ontario club, in a press conference. Lorenzo Insigne has finally arrived.
The Italian thus crossed the Atlantic, after 10 years with Napoli, a first division club in his native country. Insigne could have remained in the best leagues in Europe, he who is only 31 years old, but several reasons motivated his decision.
“I am 31 years old, I still have several years ahead of me, indicated the new star player of the great rivals of CF Montreal. But I prioritized my own happiness and the well-being of my family. I won a lot with Napoli, but I lost just as much. I wanted a change, and more importantly, a new challenge.”
In 336 games for the Italian club, Insigne left his mark, scoring 95 goals and managing 74 assists. He also added 10 goals in 54 games with his national team. He will have the difficult task of bringing the “TFC” back to the top clubs of the Eastern Association of the Garber circuit. The Toronto outfit finished the 2021 campaign ranked 13th in the East and currently hold the 11th position, with 18 points in 16 games.
“I spent 10 seasons at Napoli and with the national team, with which I won the Euro . I have no problem playing under pressure, added Insigne. But I don't like to talk about it, I prefer to demonstrate it on the field.
Insigne is thus one of the many renowned players to have joined Major League Soccer recently, just like his compatriot Giorgio Chiellini and the Welshman Gareth Bale, who will join the organization of Los Angeles FC.
"I've heard people say soccer in North America isn't real soccer, but I saw a game and it's not true at all."
Insigne must now wait for the official opening of the MLS transfer window in early July before donning a Toronto FC uniform in a game. This means that he should make his debut at BMO Field on July 9 against the San Jose Earthquakes.