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Toronto FC's Sebastian Giovinco was named Major League Soccer’s most valuable player on Wednesday, Dec. 12.Chris Young/The Canadian Press

Five goals came from free kicks and three from penalties. Twelve were scored from inside the penalty box with 10 from outside. Eighteen came from his right foot and four from his left.

Newly crowned MVP Sebastian Giovinco treated Major League Soccer as his personal palette this season, conjuring up gorgeous goals from all angles.

There were audacious chips that wrong-footed goalies while seeming to defy physics. Swerving runs that left defenders tied in knots. And power shots that nobody could stop.

"One for the ages," MLS executive vice-president Todd Durbin said Wednesday in awarding the Toronto FC star the Landon Donovan Most Valuable Player Award.

Giovinco, styling a black patterned suit, received the trophy on the Air Canada Centre floor, with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment's top sponsors and marketing partners looking on.

"I am very very happy for this award. And I would like to win more," Giovinco said in a rare attempt at English.

His partner Sharj (pronounced Shari) and two-year-old son Jacopo looked on from the front row, with Jacopo stealing the show later during a photo-op.

Giovinco won by a landslide, receiving 87.27 per cent of votes from MLS clubs, 94.37 per cent of media votes and 77.33 of player votes for a weighted total of 258.97. Columbus Crew SC striker Kei Kamara was an extremely distant second at 13.06 and midfielder Benny Feilhaber of Sporting Kansas City third at 4.95.

The league, which has only made the voting totals public in recent years, said the winning margin was one of its highest.

The 28-year-old Italian international known as the Atomic Ant has virtually run the table in his first year in North America. He won the Golden Boot as top scorer, was named top newcomer and voted onto the league's Best XI.

On Thursday he can add goal of the year honours if he bests Krisztian Nemeth of Sporting Kansas City in the fan vote.

Directly involved in two-thirds of Toronto's 58 goals this season, he also helped TFC make the playoffs for the first time.

Giovinco tied Kamara with 22 goals and led the league in assists (16), shots (181) and shots on goal (73).

Opponents who couldn't stop him legally fouled him. Giovinco, deceptively strong for five foot four and 135 pounds, was fouled a league-high 90 times. Still he only missed one game, due to an adductor injury.

World soccer has taken notice of the former Juventus player.

FourFourTwo, a British soccer magazine, ranks Giovinco No. 94 in its world 100. That's one spot below French teenager Anthony Martial, whose transfer fee reportedly could cost Manchester United as much as 58 million pounds (C$115 million).

Toronto FC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko essentially confirmed Barcelona's interest in his prized possession.

"It's obviously flattering to know that one of the top clubs around the world, perhaps THE top club over the past 10 years, has an interest in Sebastian," he told reporters Wednesday. "It hasn't been formalized. But if something comes in, we will politely decline.

"But obviously it's something I'll have to share with the owners because they will want to know that their star player is recognized around the world as being a true star."

Giovinco, who made US$7.1 million this season, has a six-year deal with Toronto.

By all accounts, the Italian is a low-maintenance millionaire with a winning smile who enjoys family time. While usually first off the practice field, TFC officials says it's hard to keep him off the pitch when the game is on for real.

Witness the dazzling solo run and score against the New York Red Bulls that is up for goal of the year. It came just hours after he got off a flight from Rome where he helped Italy defeat Norway 2-1.

In a season of highs, the season-ending 3-0 playoff loss in Montreal proved to be a major low.

"He exploded and the locker room felt it," Vanney said. "Some of the chairs and various things felt it. He's passionate about winning."

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