Jonathan Osorio believes that, despite talk of aspirations of a transfer to Europe, it was ultimately his destiny to stay in Toronto.

Toronto FC’s all-time leading appearance-maker, who signed a new three-year deal with the club on December 12, held a press conference on December 13 to discuss his motivations for the move.

“This is a special day for my family and I,” Osorio told reporters. “Everyone knows that I love this club very much.

“It became clear that my story here is what’s important. I know that I said I had the dream to go to Europe and everything but, in the end, I think it just presented itself to my family and I that it was best for everybody that I was here in Toronto.

“The way the last two years have gone, it would have been a little bit sour leaving the club in that way… No matter whatever else presented itself, it felt like it was my destiny to return here to Toronto FC.”

Osorio, ever the team player, emphasized that he wanted to put a resolution to his future on hold until after the Canadian men’s national team’s 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign in Qatar. Though he was a free agent after the expiration of his contract and rumours were flying about his future, the last thing he wanted was to become a distraction during a momentous time for soccer in Canada.

“I didn’t want it to be a big thing before the World Cup,” the 30-year-old stressed. “I didn’t want to make something about me when such a big thing was happening for our country and the guys on our team and our staff… Things happened during the World Cup and, at the end, it became clear that for my family and for myself, this was where I needed to be and where I wanted to be.”

Osorio was also asked about his status as a one-club man, an increasingly rare status in modern football.

He gave a typically professional and considerate response, insisting that while it is his aim to cement that status, it’s up to him to ensure he remains at a high-enough level to warrant that legacy.

“It’s an honour, it’s a privilege. Not many players around the world get to say they played for their hometown club for many years,” Osorio continued. “I know how blessed I am to say that. To say that I’m a one-club player, I’ve still got work to do to make sure that’s the case but that’s my aim now and that’s a huge goal to reach for. To be a one-club player in this day means you have to keep your value up during that time and that’s a challenge.”

Before Osorio spoke, Toronto FC President Bill Manning had reiterated that Osorio has become “an incredibly important part” of TFC.

“He is the essence of Toronto FC in many ways,” Manning told the crowd. “We look forward to him being one of our leaders on the field as we go into World Cup ’26… We couldn’t be happier.”