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Sebastian Giovinco did not sell his soul: In defense of getting money

Stop hating people who get paid.

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Sebastian Giovinco is a bench player for Juventus and Toronto FC just gave him $35 million. He's made 40 appearances in the last two seasons, almost all of them coming off the bench, with the vast majority of his starts coming in Coppa Italia and Europa League. People are mad at him for getting money.

Signing for Toronto FC when you're just 27 is, apparently, the equivalent of selling your soul. Just ask Carlo Garganese of Goal.com, or the valued Internet subscribers of Twitter.

And so on. The only reason a European in their footballing prime could possibly have for making the career-ending decision to go play in MLS is greed, which constitutes the sale of one's soul, a totally made-up thing that does not exist.

The main reason that moving to MLS constitutes selling your soul is that it's not in Western Europe -- going to Russia for a huge paycheck is also selling your soul. The other reason is because the league was invented in 1996. Remember, people even hate Chelsea for 'not having any history'. They're in London! They've been around for an entire century! Of course people hate MLS for being so new. (Strangely, the one totally legitimate reason to consider a move to MLS a questionable professional and moral decision -- the fact that it's literally a cartel -- is never brought up as part of this discussion.)

Holding the point of view that there's something wrong with a European in their prime going to play in MLS for lots of money requires one to hold related points of view that are equally stupid. Namely, that there's something noble or romantic about choosing to play for the provinciale, which loosely translates to 'lame clubs that no one outside of that local area cares about'. In the eyes of these people, playing a little bit more but ultimately still sitting on the bench a lot for a team like Fiorentina, Wolfsburg or Everton, or being a star for a team like Genoa or Torino, is a better sporting pursuit than making a metric crapton of money while playing in front of a sold-out 30,000-seat stadium. This is a bad opinion, and you should stop having it.

I used to think professional athletes made too much money and that they were bad people for signing for whichever team paid them the most. Then I grew up and started listening to Tha Carter II when I got out of bed every morning.

Anyone who can figure out how to get paid $35 million for doing anything that is not immoral and hurts no one is a hero. Giovinco is a slightly above-average professional footballer, his market value on the open market in Europe was probably $3-4 million per season, and he just got Toronto to commit to paying him $7 million for five years. He gets to be the star of his team and he doesn't have to pretend to care about Coppa Italia, or qualifying for the Europa League.

Getting money is not selling your soul, which, again, is not an actual thing. There is nothing bad about getting money.