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Italian playmaker Sebastian Giovinco lives up to billing at Toronto FC practice

02/11/2015 04:49 EST | Updated 04/13/2015 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - Italian playmaker Sebastian Giovinco did not disappoint in his first practice with Toronto FC.

Just five foot four, the former Juventus player was easy to spot on the practice field under the bubble Wednesday. But it was his speed and vision more than his size that caught notice.

"Good players find ways to fit right in and he certainly is a very, very good player," captain Michael Bradley said with a smile.

"For his first day, training with the group, he didn't waste any time," he added.

Bradley speaks Italian from his time at Roma so the two already have a bond and they walked off the practice field in conversation.

Head coach Greg Vanney said Giovinco comes as advertised.

"He's very quick and nifty in the pockets, in those little tight spaces ... He's shifty in that he can unbalance defenders and create little fractions of time in areas where a lot of guys can't. His vision around the field to bring other people into the game is special so we're very pleased."

The Italian's fitness is also good, given his head start in the Italian season.

Giovinco, nicknamed the Atomic Ant, said he enjoyed the practice and was impressed by his new club.

"I like the way that the team plays soccer," he said through an interpreter.

While small in stature, Giovinco is long on ink. Both of his arms are heavily tattooed — Popeye seems to figure on one arm — as well as one leg below the knee.

Vanney said while Giovinco's understanding of English is pretty good, the player is eager to learn the language.

Bradley was asked whether former Roma and Juventus players could get on.

"We're both Toronto FC now," he said happily.

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