Ventura: Giovinco not called up because MLS is a 'less competitive league'

The Azzurri boss is not impressed enough by the Toronto FC star's exploits in Major League Soccer to hand him an international recall.

Toronto FC star Sebastian Giovinco continues to be overlooked for Italy national team duty, and based on the words of Azzurri manager Giampiero Ventura, that trend is likely to continue. 

Despite his blistering form in Major League Soccer, the 29-year-old was not called up for Italy's World Cup qualifier at Liechtenstein on Saturday and a friendly with Germany three days later in Milan.

When asked about Giovinco as a press conference on Monday, Ventura did not hold back on his criticism of MLS, saying of the former Juventus player: "I know everything about him. The problem is he plays in a league where the number of goals he scores matter less because his quality makes a difference there."

Ventura added that Roma striker Stephan El Shaarawy, who also wasn't called up, is currently closer to a recall than Giovinco: "A distinction should be made between El Shaarawy and Giovinco. Issues with mentality can come in less competitive leagues."

After winning the MLS MVP in 2015, Giovinco turned in another stellar regular season in 2016, scoring 17 goals and adding 15 assists. HIs hat trick on Sunday helped Toronto FC advance past New York City FC with a 7-0 aggregate win in the Eastern Conference semifinal. 

Giovinco's last appearance for Italy came in a Euro 2016 qualifier against Norway in October 2015.