After months of speculation and reports, Toronto FC has announced the signing of former Italy international Domenic Criscito, who has put pen to paper on an 18-month Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) contract through 2023.
Criscito signs on a free transfer from recently relegated Genoa after his contract with the club was terminated by mutual consent on June 24th, 2022. The left-back will occupy an international roster slot and will join the club pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC).
Mimmo will play club football outside of Europe for the first time in his career, having also spent time at Juventus and Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Now officially a TFC player, Criscito is in line to make his debut for the Reds alongside his compatriot, Lorenzo Insigne, when Toronto hosts the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, July 9th.
The left-back was seemingly set to sign for Toronto earlier in the year, with Fabrizio Romano reporting in late February that Criscito was “expected to join immediately.” Yet, the transfer guru then revealed that the veteran defender had changed his mind and wanted to see out the rest of the 2021/22 Serie A season and help his side avoid relegation.
Update Toronto FC. Domenico Criscito has changed his mind and he’s not signing immediately, despite verbal agreement and contracts ready. @SkySport #MLS— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 6, 2022
Criscito is not joining Toronto in March as he wants to help Genoa in Serie A - Toronto move will be discussed for July.
Sadly, Genoa were unable to beat the drop as Criscito made a total of 21 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring seven goals.
The most fruitful period of Criscito’s career came during his seven seasons with Zenit, where he made 224 appearances and won five major honours, including two Russian Premier League titles.
On the international stage, Criscito earned 26 caps for Gil Azzurri. He started in each of Italy’s three group stage matches at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and played the full 90 in the 1-1 draws against Paraguay and New Zealand, respectively. In addition, the defender has featured in a handful of World Cup and European Championship Qualifying matches, as well as a pair of UEFA Nations League clashes in 2018.
“Mimmo is a versatile defender who is a very good passer and a smart player,” said Toronto FC head coach Bob Bradley on his team’s latest addition.
“He can play as a left back or a center back and should be an excellent role model for our young players.”
As the third Italian in history to sign for Toronto FC after Sebastian Giovinco and Insigne, it’s safe to say the club’s faithful fans will be nothing short of ecstatic to see their new signing in action.