MONTREAL – Marco Di Vaio actually cut his Florida vacation short to get started on his new adventure ahead of schedule.
The Montreal Impact's first Designated Player practiced with his new team on Tuesday for the first time, two days before he was due to report to the club. The former Bologna star (above, center) looked sharp enough, 30 days after he last stepped on a soccer field, and was unsurprisingly mobbed by countless reporters after what he described as a “very good training session.”
“It wasn’t easy for me, having been resting for three weeks,” Di Vaio told reporters. “We trained well today. We worked hard, we went fast. It was a good feeling, and I thought it was good to join the team. It’s best for me [to come back to training right away], because we'll be working hard for four more months.”
It is not all work and no play for the Impact's new No. 9, though. The former Italian international recently downed an espresso with Montreal sporting director Nick De Santis in a Little Italy bar and had a chance to get acquainted with members of the important Italian community.
Di Vaio will leave the city for a short period of time on Wednesday, however, as the whole of his former Bologna team has been called to testify as part of Italy's recent match-fixing scandal. He will be back in Montreal on Friday.
“This is not a great time for Italian soccer," Di Vaio said. "But at the end of the day, it’s a chance to maybe start from scratch, do things properly this time, find out the problems and fix them."
Montreal head coach Jesse Marsch, for his part, did not seem in the least bit worried about Di Vaio being summoned as part of the investigations.
“I think his involvement in it is nothing,” Marsch said. “It’s just something that he has to go and finish on that end, and then come back and be here. I’m sure that they’re looking at a lot of different things and a lot of different people over there.”