Its not every Monday afternoon one of world sports most iconic institutions touches down in Montreal to be welcomed with a white-gloved reception in a private aircraft hangar at Pierre Elliot Trudeau airport. On board, Alessandro Nesta and his AC Milan teammates. There to greet them was their host for the next couple of days, Impact President Joey Saputo. It was May 31, 2010. Its even rarer an occasion that a World Cup winner, double UEFA Champions League winner and three time Serie A champion joins Major League Soccer. Pushing back an offer to end his career where it all started at SS Lazio, and following agreement with New York who held his discovery rights a little over a week after flying up from Miami to take in Marco Di Vaios Impact debut, Alessandro \"Sandro\" Nesta was formally introduced Friday afternoon as a Montreal Impact player. From the legendry San Siro in May to the newly remodeled Saputo Stadium in July - obviously not all the soccer script writers reside in Hollywood. Since joining Lazio as an 8-year old in 1985 Nesta has gone on to enjoy a career that in soccer terms is of Higgs Boson proportions. Signing professional terms with his home town club as an 18-year old back in 1993, his defining moment as a Lazio player came in 2000 when under Sven Goran Eriksson he captained the Stadio Olimpico club to its first Serie A title in 25 years. Its one thing to win a title for the club from the city of your birth but quite another when that city has but one fierce crosstown rival who Nesta spurned in favour of Lazio and one that just so happens to be the club of choice for generations of your immediate family. Its quite likely a forefather of Nestas attended Lazio matches from their inception back in 1900. Introduced to a spontaneous round of applause, Nesta initially addressed the media in very plausible English before reverting to his mother tongue for the duration of the press conference. Nesta got his initial feel for MLS when he sought out David Beckham when the Galaxy player was on loan at the San Siro back in January 2009. \"Its a hard league to play and if you dont go with the right mindset of adapting to a different culture, a different sport and if you dont prepare yourself in every training session and in every game at the highest level you will suffer in MLS.\" That was how Nesta explained Beckhams sage advice to the rarest of talents and an individual who truly transcends his craft. Collecting accolades on the pitch and off it too - Nesta wears none more proudly than his acceptance in 2006 into the esteemed ranks as an Officer in The Italian Order of Merit. Will, drive and determination are the hallmarks of what separate the very good from the great. Without possessing these qualities in abundance Nesta would have been put out to pasture likely not long after claiming his second UEFA Champions League winners medal in 2007. Save a substitute appearance in Milans final game a serious back injury kept Nesta out of the entire 2008/2009 campaign. Come back though the Rossoneri legend most certainly did. His play and influence pivotal as Milan went on to claim the Serie A title two seasons later. Nestas third and last domestic championship - it led to him signing his final contract with the club. A one-year deal that expired at the conclusion of 2011/12 season and one which didnt bring with it any additional silverware. For Nesta that final season at Milan will forever be remembered for his majestic performance in a match during the Champions League group stage against a certain nimble footed Argentine who ripped to shreds every defence he faced in a season in which he broke all-time world club soccer scoring records as he went on to claim an unprecedented 72 goals. Thanks in large part to Nesta - Messi didnt get as much as a sniff of goal at the San Siro back on March 28 this year. Nesta knew his time was coming to an end with AC Milan two months later but what he also knew was that it in no way did it signify he was ready or even willing to hang up his size 11 boots. His trip from Miami to Saputo Stadium to take in the June 27 league match against Toronto may have been his first visit to Montreal but it isnt the World Cup winners first connection with la belle ville. For that we have to look at the pioneering and globally acclaimed sports laboratory that is the Milan Lab – which is housed at the 7-time European Champions practice facility, Milanello. To all intents and purposes a medical facility that not only greatly assists in speeding up the natural timeline thats ordinarily required to recover and rehabilitate from injury but also pushes back the sands of Father Time. The Mind Room deployed by the Azzurri at the 2006 World Cup Finals was devised from technologies invented by Montreal based company Thought Technology. Injured during the World Cup Finals Nesta made very good use of it as Italy went on to claim its fourth world title that summer. Nesta was keen to stress on Friday that he still had much to offer and that his desire to achieve more still burned deep inside. \"Ive been watching MLS very closely these past few months from Miami, Ive watched the Impact play, other teams play. What I can bring to the table is my experiences. I need to adjust though. Be open minded and adapt to a different soccer, a different culture.\" Nesta believes hes a fortnight, three weeks at the most away from making his Impact debut but that need to adapt culturally is already well underway and on very secure footings. As last Wednesday nights controversial 3-1 home reversal at the hands of Sporting KC entered its Thursday morning post mortem phase for Impact supporters, players and club officials - Nesta was holding court very early Thursday morning at one of Little Italys more quaint caffe bars. Mingling with patrons that span the generations and as the football conversations and laughter ebbed and flowed a jovial Nesta warmly embraced most familiar type surroundings. Montreal is home to one of AC Milans oldest of overseas supporters clubs - AC Milan Club Montreal. Its patron a certain Silvio Berlusconi and a supporters club where their senior officials are on first name terms with some of the most senior executives in all of world football. San Siro insiders they most certainly are. One insider spoke of a highly charged environment for the club as the recently concluded season reached its climax in which a number of highly respected long term club servants would be exiting AC Milan simultaneously. Telling, \"The last game of 2012 was an emotional one for many Milanisti with the likes of Inzaghi, Seedorf, Zambrotta, Gattuso and Nesta leaving the club. However, in the case of Nesta many of us felt he still [had] something left.\" Concluding rather prophetically, \"Thankfully for those Milanisti living in Montreal the dream continues.\" Immediately following his formal introduction Nesta exited the conference room to eagerly make his way down to the Saputo Stadium pitch where he joined up with his new teammates to participate in his first-ever full training session outside of his native Italy. When the squad split into two teams instead of sporting the customary yellow bib Nesta wore a green one to signify his neutrality on the Stade Saputo pitch. Come July 28 at Saputo Stadium another World Cup winner, Thierry Henry, will likely be the very first opponent Nesta will look to neutralize as he brings his immense talents and presence to the MLS stage. Joe Flacco Jersey. -- Quarterback David Garrard signed with the Miami Dolphins in March, climbed to No. Parys Haralson Jersey. Shoes were lined up methodically along the bottom, jerseys and other clothing hung on a rod, a cap sat on the top shelf and the team helmet hung on its customary hook. -- Lou Lamoriello did not speak with anger in his voice. cheap philadelphia eagles jerseys. The game, played in withering 30C heat, saw Canada go ahead 1-0 at the 40-minute mark on a penalty kick by captain Russell Teibert of Niagara Falls, Ont. philadelphia eagles shop. Begin, who missed all of last season due to hip surgery, returns to the team that drafted him back in 1996.(Sports Network) - The Maple Leafs will wrap up the home portion of their disappointing season on Thursday night, but at least recent history says that the fans at Air Canada Centre should see plenty of goals. Toronto goes for a season series sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning this evening and has not had a problem putting the puck into the nets over the first three encounters. The Maple Leafs have potted a total of 17 goals versus the Lightning this season, putting forth a pair of seven-goal outbursts in the first two meetings before coming through with a 3-1 victory in the most recent matchup on March 15. That has Toronto in position to sweep its four-game set with Tampa Bay for the first time since the 2006-07 season. Tim Connolly leads the Leafs with six points versus the Lightning, while injured forward Joffrey Lupul has two goals and three assists. Tyler Bozak and Joey Crabb have also scored twice versus the Bolts this season. Toronto will look to avoid a seventh loss in nine games overall this evening after a disappointing finish on Tuesday in Buffalo. The Maple Leafs got a pair of goals from Bozak in the first period and one from Matt Frattin in a three- goal first period, and never trailed in the game until the Sabres Derek Roy scored the game-winner at 3:29 of overtime to hand the Leafs a 6-5 defeat. \"It was gut-wrenching,\" Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle said. \"It was one of those games that everything went our way early then kind of went against us late in the hockey game.\" With both James Reimer and Jonas Gustavsson nursing injuries, Ben Scrivens got the start and was tagged for all six goals on 45 shots faced. Clarke MacArthur and Jake Gardiner added goals for the Maple Leafs, who will miss the postseason for a franchise-worst seventh straight season. Phil Kessel ended with three assists, all in the firsst period to match a franchise record.dddddddddddd Kessels 81-point total is the highest for a Leaf since Mats Sundin logged 83 points during the 1998-99 season. Toronto also lost defenseman Carl Gunnarsson to a separated shoulder early in Tuesdays loss and he will miss Torontos final two games, including Saturdays season-ending contest in Montreal. Gustavsson, Mikhail Grabovski (lacerated leg) and David Steckel (MCL) are all questionable for tonight. The Lightning had a two-game win streak snapped last night with a 5-2 setback in Montreal. Playing in his fourth contest since missing 18 straight due to a hand injury, Vincent Lecavalier scored his first goal since Feb. 9 and Bruno Gervais also scored. Sebastien Caron made 20 saves on 25 shots faced. \"The reality of games right now is the motivational level,\" said Tampa head coach Guy Boucher. \"When youre not making the playoffs and our guys have fought as hard as they have for every game, its hard at the end of the season.\" Blueliner Victor Hedman added an assist to give him a goal and five helpers over a career-high five-game point streak, though Steven Stamkos had his six- game run of points end. Stamkos had logged eight goals and 11 points over that span and remained stuck on 58 goals this season, the second-most in the NHL since the lockout behind only Alex Ovechkins 65 for Washington in 2007-08. Stamkos, who leads Pittsburghs Evgeni Malkin by 10 goals in the race for the Maurice \"Rocket\" Richard Trophy, has seven goals and 18 points in 15 career games versus Toronto. That includes a goal and an assist in the three meetings this season. Tampa Bay is ending the season on a three-game swing and wraps its schedule on Saturday in Winnipeg. Though the club matched a club record with 25 home victories this season, it has gone just 12-22-5 on the road. ' ' '