The 28-year-old, who signed on as a Designated Player with the TFC on Friday, made that very clear when he was introduced to the Toronto press and fans of his new team on Monday afternoon in a restaurant in downtown Toronto.
In Toronto, there is a big, big project for the future and I am very proud to be part of it.he said, in English moreover, while the majority of his answers were in Italian.
Toronto FC rose to fame in 2017, in particular, by signing a historic hat-trick, winning the Canadian championship, the MLS regular season championship as well as the league playoffs. He also took part in two other MLS Cup finals, in 2016 and 2019. Since then, however, the team has experienced a steep descent into hell. With the acquisition of big names such as Bernardeschi, they want to regain their dominance of a few years ago and also win the CONCACAF Champions League which eluded them in 2018.
The one who played until recently for Juventus Turin, one of the best clubs in Italy and the most famous in Europe, was won over during a visit
secretly in Toronto two months ago. There, he met Toronto FC president Bill Manning and the team’s head coach and athletic director, Bob Bradley.
I immediately liked Toronto. I found a family there, with Bill, Bob, the team and the fanshe said.
My family and I, my wife and my children, we are very very happy to be herehe added with a beaming smile.
The Italian wanted to make one thing clear at a press conference: he did not come to take it easy in Toronto. He wants to win again, simply elsewhere than in Italy, while he still has good years ahead of him.
I had several offers in Italy, and I consider myself lucky because it’s not an easy league, but I chose to come here (to MLS) because in Italy I had done the garden tour. I won almost everything there was to win in the club and, with the national team, we won the Euro [en 2021]he said.
Over the past five years with Juventus, Bernardeschi has indeed had a lot of success. He won three Italian championships, two Italian cups and two Italian supercups. He also played 31 games in the Champions League, not to mention his success in the national team. It was this experience that caught the eye of President Bill Manning.
The right winger followed his national team mate Lorenzo Insigne and fellow compatriot defender Domenico Criscito to Toronto, both of whom recently joined the TFC.
To be able to play with Lorenzo every day, it will be wonderful and a bit incredible, right? I’m really looking forward. I want to play with him as soon as possiblehe said when asked about renewing the chemistry he developed with Il Magnifico in the national team.
Bernardeschi trained with his new TFC teammates in the morning, but head coach Bob Bradley wouldn’t say if he would play his first game in his new jersey on Saturday in Toronto against Charlotte.
This date was also the one envisaged by the team for the debut of Insigne, troubled by a calf injury since his arrival in Toronto at the end of June.
More exuberant than his compatriot Insigne, Bernardeschi also left a strong impression at a press conference. Her charming little smiles to the fans gathered on the mezzanine did not go unnoticed. The big guy of 1.83 m also danced to the rhythm of the drums of the supporters, then chanted the team slogan
All For One“,”text”:”All For One”}}”>All For One (
All for onein French) into a microphone at the very end.
Toronto FC is currently in the bottom of the overall MLS standings with a record of 5 wins, 4 draws and 12 losses. He has not won since June 25. The team is eight points from last place in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
We dug a hole. We are in a difficult position. When Lorenzo and Federico jump into the fray, we won’t have much room for errorsaid Bill Manning.
With another Designated Player spot to fill (the other two being occupied by Insigne and Bernardeschi), the Toronto FC president said he was in no rush to find another player in the genre, this time prioritizing the patience.
If we have to go get one, it’ll have to fit into our plans.he said.
Manning, however, did not rule out the possibility of seeking help in defense while his team is among the worst teams in MLS in this regard.