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Who TFC Were: Where in the world is Sebastian Giovinco?

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What’s life in Saudi Arabia been like for Seba since his Toronto FC departure?

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps at Toronto FC
Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco (10) battles for a ball with Vancouver Whitecaps defender Doneil Henry (2) during the second half at BMO Field
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been nearly one year since Sebastian Giovinco parted ways with Toronto FC and headed to Saudi Arabia to join Al-Hilal FC.

As the club’s all-time leading goal scorer and a fan favourite, his departure from the Reds hit hard for many of the BMO field faithful, particularly following a dismal 2018 season.

For the most part, the club was able to overcome the loss of the Italian in 2019 due in large part to the addition of Alejandro Pozuelo. Ultimately, the Reds of course fell to Seattle in the MLS Cup Final despite the brilliance of Pozuelo and co. down the stretch.

While the largely successful campaign might have helped many supporters move on from the “atomic ant”, there remains those who can’t help but reminisce on the Seba era. In fact, rumours continue to swirl surrounding a potential reunion between TFC and Giovinco, dating back to the summer.

For now, the former Juventus man remains committed to the cause for Al-Hilal. His club currently sits in fifth place in the Saudi professional league table. Due to a busy schedule across all competitions, Al-Hilal have played at least two fewer matches than any other club in the league, and so their place in the standings should be taken with a grain of salt.

Much of their focus this season had been on the AFC Champions League, a competition in which they won in convincing fashion. As a result, Al-Hilal earned the right to represent Asia in the ongoing FIFA Club World Cup for the first time in club history. Giovinco played a key role in his club’s advancement into the tournament setting up goals in both the semi-final and final of the Asian Champions League.

In 34 total matches for Al-Hilal to date, Giovinco has found the net 9 times himself while playing provider on seven other occasions. On Saturday, his side fell to Liga MX outfit Monterrey in the Club World Cup’s third-place match in penalties despite the Italian dispatching his effort from the spot with ease.

With Michael Bradley re-signing on a reduced term, a DP slot has been left vacant on the TFC roster heading into 2020. Although the possibility of a return to Toronto has yet to be officially ruled out by either player or club personnel, a Giovinco-Reds reunion remains fan fiction for the time being.