Saturday December 9 2017
Giovinco: 'Not lost Italy hope'

Sebastian Giovinco has “not lost hope of wearing the Azzurri jersey” and confirms Toronto FC study Juventus tactics.

His Toronto FC take on Seattle Sounders tonight for the MLS Cup – the American version of the Scudetto – and it’s a replay of last season’s when the Sounders emerged victorious.

“Reaching two consecutive finals means we have worked well, but if we don’t win today, it will all have been futile, because finishing top in the regular season isn’t enough here,” Giovinco told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Seattle are the favourites, as they are the reigning champions and therefore the team to beat. They also have more quality than 12 months ago. It was a tough lesson we learned last year, as they beat us without a shot on goal. Imagine if they had tried!

“We were at home last time too and it didn’t help. Losing in front of your own fans is painful and that was a huge regret. All I’m missing in Toronto is the icing on the cake and I really want to eat it.

“I have matured as a player, above all in terms of age and experience, and I always try to learn something new. Here you learn that even if you are 3-0 down, you still have a chance of winning and mustn’t get discouraged. It often happens that certain results are overturned, though it wouldn’t happen in Europe.

“I am often man-marked now, even with two players, and I get fouled regularly. The referees probably ought to protect players more.”

The Atomic Ant went to MLS after struggling for playing time at Juventus and believes he has taken some of the Old Lady’s spirit with him.

“I think that I have brought a winning mentality to Toronto. I don’t want to take all the credit, but we have seen progress. Before my arrival, Toronto had never even been in the play-offs, and we always have over three seasons, reaching the final twice. Now we hope for the title, as that would be fantastic.

“We play 3-5-2, which is the system often used by Juventus. In fact, to study the right movements, we watch videos of the Bianconeri in action. According to our coaching staff, Juve are the ones who play this system in the best way.

“Greg Vanney is a good Coach, especially when it comes to dialogue with the locker room. I don’t know how much that sort of rapport would be accepted in Europe, because in Italy my Coaches hardly ever spoke to me.”

Giovinco has no intention of turning his back on Major League Soccer now, even if it damages his Italy prospects.

“I expect to remain at Toronto, as I have another two-year contract and I love it here. I haven’t lost hope of wearing the Azzurri jersey. Everybody knows how I play by now.

“I watched the World Cup play-off defeat to Sweden and, like everyone, I thought it a disaster for the whole Italian football movement.”

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