With Insigne, TFC takes aim at the Italian community
TORONTO – Lorenzo Insigne’s move to TFC represents a step that has no precedent in the history of the MLS. In the past, the North American League has seen big names arrive, from Ibrahimovic to Beckham, from Pirlo to Villa, passing through Higuain and Kakà.
They were leading stars in the world soccer scene, who arrived in the declining phase of their notable career. “Champions” once, who came to the MLS to monetize the last important contract before hanging up their shoes and saying goodbye to football; Zlatan Ibrahimovic is an exception.
Without taking anything away from his accomplishments in the MLS, Giovinco was a special case. While it is true that when he arrived in Toronto he was still 28 years old, it is equally a fact that the former Juventus playmaker had never been a star of the first magnitude in the Italian and European soccer scene.
As Giovinco himself reiterated a few days ago, when, in 2015, he received the irrefutable offer from Toronto FC, he was riding the bench with Juventus. His contract almost expired and with little prospect of signing a new significant contract with any of the better Serie A Italian teams.
For Insigne, however, the circumstances are completely different. We are talking about a player near the peak of his football maturity – in June he will turn 31. He is a star of the Italian national team, freshly crowned champions of Europe.
Moreover, he is having a great career with Napoli – respected and admired not only in Serie A but in the Champions League or Europa League. A decisive player, captain of the Partenopei, sought after all over the world.
On his own he is capable of shifting the balance of the entire North American soccer.
I t is clear that the TFC, after the last disastrous season, wants a relaunch in style. Likely, Insigne is only the first acquisition in a process of renewal of personnel to be competitive immediately in the fight for primacy in the league.
Then there is a second aspect, exquisitely commercial, which should not be underestimated. With the arrival of Insigne, the MLSE – owner of the Reds and the other sports franchises of Toronto – has sent an unmistakable signal to the Italian Canadian community of the GTA: the contribution and vigour of the fans of Italian origin is indispensable to the relaunch of the TFC.
TFC no doubt expects to repeat, in a big way, what already happened with the arrival in 2015 of Giovinco. BMO always sold out, enthusiasm skyrocketed, there was a boom in merchandising revenues, advertising contracts, international visibility.
All this, then, taking into account that in four years, Canada, together with the United States and Mexico, will host the soccer World Cup for the first time.
In short, the appeal that Insigne can have with the fans of Italian origin will be the driving force behind a revival of the entire soccer movement in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Niagara Area, given the rather modest success of the Canadian Premier League, so far.
Here below, the video published by Toronto Fc on Facebook: “Just a little taste of what you can expect from 𝙄𝙇 𝙈𝘼𝙂𝙉𝙄𝙁𝙄𝘾𝙊“
(video and pic at the top from Toronto Fc’s Facebook page)