Camila Gonzalez sat down with Lorenzo Insigne for an exclusive interview on August 2, 2022. The Italian attacker, who arrived on a free transfer following his contract expiry with Napoli, signed a deal with The Reds through 2026.
First Matches in MLS For Lorenzo Insigne
Despite playing at the highest of levels, Insigne was intrigued by the opportunity to leave Europe and play in North America on a regular basis. Although it has not been an ideal start – joining the squad while struggling with an injury and full match fitness – the Italian attacker has been impressed and is ready to leave his mark.
“It’s complicated because it’s another style of play, a different mentality, its more relaxed. But I am getting used to it and I’m hoping to get to 100% as soon as possible because my teammates need me. I’m still without athletic preparation and coming from an injury and I’m trying as fast as possible to be 100% to help my teammates who need help.”
New Friends at Toronto FC
Apart from the two other Italians joining Insigne this summer in Toronto (Federico Bernardeschi and Domenico Criscito), Insigne identified two other teammates that have had a positive impact on his start to life at the club.
“I have a good relationship with Chris Mavinga, he’s helping me out, he’s a great guy. Even the others are helping me learn English and I’m trying to learn as fast as possible. I know it’s not easy but I’m working on it. Even the coach and the captain, Michael Bradley are helping me a lot, I have to be honest. This is important for me because it makes me feel good and on the field, I feel better and I can give my 100%.”
Euro 2020 & Future With Gli Azzurri
Often, players who transfer outside of Europe are not considered for the Italian National Team. However, Insigne had spoken with Coach Roberto Mancini before making the move, ensuring him of his position with the team.
“I spoke with the coach before signing and after signing, we send each other messages here and there. I always gave my availability, I accept all his choices because the coaches’ choices are sacred. As I always said, even in Italy, I was playing with South American players, Colombian players. Davide Ospina would get called for the national team and he would do a lot of travelling, but they would still call him. I always gave my availability, but these are the coach’s decisions and I’ll accept them.
Reunion With Ciro Immobile or Marco Verratti?
When his contract with Napoli was coming to an end, it seemed like Insigne could have signed with various clubs; despite the possibility of playing with former teammates and friends Ciro Immobile and Marco Verratti, he still opted to move to Major League Soccer.
“For sure, there were many situations, when you’re without a contract and you can choose what you want. There were other situations from Europe but, I’ll repeat: they didn’t excite me too much. Then I got the call from TFC, they promised me a big project around me, and I accepted.”