Giovinco was named MLS MVP in 2015, during his first season with Toronto FC.

By Kaelen Jones
January 30, 2019

Toronto FC sold star forward Sebastian Giovinco to Al-Hilal FC of the Saudi Professional League, it was announced Wednesday.

Per TSN's Kristian Jack, the terms of the transfer fee are "close to $2-$3 million."

Giovinco, 32, spent four seasons with Toronto FC after joining the MLS side in 2015 on transfer from Italy Serie A powerhouse Juventus. Giovinco scored 83 goals and notched 64 assists across all competitions during his tenure with Toronto FC.

In 2015, his first season stateside, Giovinco was named MLS MVP in addition to claiming Golden Boot and Newcomer of the Year honors. He was named an MLS All-Star in each of his four seasons, and he helped Toronto FC win the 2017 MLS Cup.

Giovinco is currently Toronto FC's all-time leading goal scorer.

Giovinco released a strongly worded statement via Instagram in which he aired some of his grievances against the club in the contract dispute that resulted in his transfer.

View this post on Instagram

Toronto has been home to me and my family for almost 5 years. I arrived here from Italy in January 2015 and immediately felt something special. From day one, I worked hard to repay the opportunity that Toronto had given me. From that first year, I realized that we could do great things here. Through hard work, passion and determination my teammates and I transformed TFC and made it one of the best clubs in MLS and in North America. We didn’t do this alone. Without our great fans this would not have been possible. I can confidently say that I significantly contributed in making unprecedented history at TFC. We wrote a new chapter in the club’s history, together. All for One. This journey has been a wonderful experience for my family and me. It’s without hesitation that I can say that I wanted it to end differently. As I have always maintained, I was hoping to renew my contract and finish my playing career in a city that feels like home. It is here where my daughter was born and where my son took his first steps on a football pitch. A place my family loves to live and wanted to call home for good. Unfortunately, this desire of ours has clashed with a change in direction with current TFC management. For the 2 years I have been seeking to extend my contract however management was reluctant. Recently, after refusing to exercise the club option for 2020, I was offered terms that I deemed unacceptable. They may say I left for a more lucrative deal, but this is not the case. Their offer and lack of transparency is a clear message. It seems management prefers to focus on things other than the pure desire to win. After having grown the brand and elevating the overall reputation of TFC both at home and abroad, it seems I no longer serve a purpose. I would have accepted less to stay in Toronto. Therefore, I reluctantly announce that my tenure as a TFC player has come to an end. I will now focus my attention and efforts towards another challenge. With me I bring beautiful memories. Toronto - the 6ix - you are and will always remain in my heart. Thank you for everything you have taught me about myself and about life. I love you Toronto! Seba

A post shared by Sebastian Giovinco (@sebagiovincoofficial) on

"As I have always maintained, I was hoping to renew my contract and finish my playing career in a city that feels like home," Giovinco wrote. "It is here where my daughter was born and where my son took his first steps on a football pitch. A place my family loves to live and wanted to call home for good. Unfortunately, this desire of ours has clashed with a change in direction with current TFC management. For the 2 years I have been seeking to extend my contract however management was reluctant. Recently, after refusing to exercise the club option for 2020, I was offered terms that I deemed unacceptable.

"They may say I left for a more lucrative deal, but this is not the case. Their offer and lack of transparency is a clear message. It seems management prefers to focus on things other than the pure desire to win. After having grown the brand and elevating the overall reputation of TFC both at home and abroad, it seems I no longer serve a purpose. I would have accepted less to stay in Toronto."

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