Toronto FC defender Domenico Criscito announced today that he will retire from professional soccer. The Italian international defender ends a 19-year career that saw him play in Major League Soccer, the top divisions of Italy and Russia, as well as for the Italian national team. A left-footed defender, Criscito scored 51 goals in 554 appearances across top European competitions, including Serie A, Russian Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, FIFA World Cup and UEFA Nations League.
"Thank you very much, Toronto FC, for these six beautiful months. My family and I enjoyed our time in this incredible city, and we felt a part of this great family from day one," said Criscito. "It is time for me to go home and evaluate what I will do for my future. Thank you and All For One."
Criscito, 35, signed for Toronto FC on June 29, 2022, before going on to make 16 appearances in all competitions (MLS regular season and Canadian Championship), and scoring one goal for TFC. During his time with the Reds, he earned a spot in the MLS Team of the Week in Week 26 after scoring a spectacular goal against New England Revolution on August 17, 2022. Criscito’s lone goal was awarded the MLS Goal of the Week (MLS Week 26) and was nominated for the 2022 MLS Goal of the Year.
“Mimmo had an exceptional career for club and country, and we are happy we had the chance to work with him the past six months,” said Toronto FC President Bill Manning. “During his time with us he has been a true professional on and off the pitch and we wish nothing but the best for him and his family.”
Before joining Toronto FC, Criscito played for Genoa four seasons (2018-2022), which was his third and final stint with the Italian club, where he made 109 appearances and scored 20 goals. The defender served as the club captain since 2018. Criscito also spent seven years with Russian top-flight club Zenit Saint Petersburg (Zenit), where he made 224 appearances and scored 20 goals in all competitions (Russian Premier Liga, Russian Cup, Russian Super Cup, UEFA Europa League, and UEFA Champions League). He helped his team win the 2015 Russian Super Cup when he scored the winning penalty in a 4–2 shoot-out against Lokomotiv Moscow on July 12, 2015. In seven seasons with Zenit, Criscito won three titles including: the Russian Premier Liga (2011/2012 and 2014/2015), the Russian Cup (2015/2016) and the Russian Super Cup (2015 and 2016). From 2008 to 2011, during his second spell with Genoa, Criscito appeared in 125 matches and registered six goals.
Criscito began his professional career with Genoa, where he made his debut in Serie B in June 2003 at the age of 16. Criscito joined Serie A team Juventus in 2015, where he made nine appearances before he returned on loan to Genoa in 2008.
“Mimmo came in and helped the team during a difficult stretch. He is an excellent player and a great person,” said Toronto FC Head Coach and Sporting Director Bob Bradley. “I enjoyed working with him this season and wish him well in the future.”
On the international stage, Criscito represented his country at the U-17, U-18, U-19, U-20, and U-21 categories, including the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. He made his debut for the senior team in a friendly game against Switzerland on August 12, 2009. He made 26 appearances in competitions including: FIFA World Cup Qualifiers (UEFA), 2010 FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championship qualifying and UEFA Nations League matches.