MONTREAL – Marco Di Vaio did extend his contract, but the decision wasn’t just his.
The Montreal Impact Designated Player said when he met with the media Friday morning that his family life affected whether he would continue in MLS.
Di Vaio and the club finally came to an agreement on Tuesday, when the club exercised their option with the Italian forward’s blessing and rewarded him with a salary increase.
The Italian striker confirmed that it was his mother-in-law who fell ill this summer when his wife and daughters went back to Italy. But as the situation improved, the family decided on Di Vaio carrying on in Montreal despite the inconveniences.
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“I took time to make that decision because I have to talk to my wife and make sure that she could stay in Italy by herself for a year,” said Di Vaio, who is tied for the league lead with 19 goals. “I want to keep on playing. It’s my life. So I want to thank my wife, my family and Joey [Saputo, club president].”
Di Vaio denied the various reports from Italy hinting that Bologna had approached him for a return on the field in Serie A, but he did corroborate those suggesting that the Rossoblù were already sewing his name to a club executive chair.
In fact, a deal was struck when Di Vaio signed with Montreal that allowed him to leave for an executive job in Bologna come his contract’s end.
“But I’m not ready to be an executive,” the 37-year-old Di Vaio said. “I want to keep playing, and I can keep playing. And the only team I’d play for is the Impact. I never thought about going back to play for Bologna. If I go back, it’s to make a change in my life, to do something else.”
But Di Vaio is already getting some executive practice.
With the Impact announcing on Friday that the career of legendary defender – and Di Vaio’s best friend – Alessandro Nesta would be celebrated before this Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Union at Stade Saputo (2 pm ET; MLS Live), likely signaling the end of his illustrious career, Saputo revealed that Di Vaio had handed him a long list of potential replacements.
“A lot of players want to come here, but I don’t know that they’re the same level as Alessandro,” Di Vaio said. “Alessandro is, for me, one of the best defenders in the world. … We are sad at this moment because he's finishing his career, but maybe he’ll continue to work in soccer.”