Sebastian Giovinco Not Called for Italian National Team Because MLS "Doesn't Count for Much"

Italy’s manager, Giampiero Ventura, thinks the MLS is hurting his game.

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Toronto F.C.’s Sebastian Giovinco is one of the premier players in the MLS: he’s in the top 5 among players in goals, assists and shots on goal. Despite his efforts on a league-leading team however, it’s not enough for the 29-year-old to be called up to the Italian national team. Italy’s manager, Giampiero Ventura, said of last year’s MLS MVP:

“Giovinco is a different story. I have done everything to help him but the reality is that he plays in a league that doesn’t count for much. And the number of goals he scores is less important because with the quality he has got, he is bound to make a difference in that league. The problem is that if you play in that type of league, and you get used to playing in that type of league, it becomes a problem of mentality.”

Ventura said the same of Domenico Criscito, who plays in Russia. Criscito was called up last month but was left off of the current international squad. “[Criscito] is a great player, I’ve seen him grow. The problem is that he has to fight to rediscover his spark and he needs that because he is just a little behind,” Ventura said. “The problem with Giovinco is the same. How long would it take to get him to show that spark?”

Giovinco was also left off of MLS’s shortlist for the MVP award this season, but that doesn’t concern the pro-footballer. “Everything will be put now into winning the MLS Cup, which is way more important.”

There’s no doubt that the MLS is inferior to the top European leagues, but that doesn’t mean Giovinco can’t be an asset after he finds that “spark.”

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