Luca Toni

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Luca Toni
Luca Toni.jpg
Personal information
Full name Luca Toni
Date of birth (1977-05-26) 26 May 1977 (age 37)
Place of birth Pavullo nel Frignano, Italy
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)[1]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Verona
Number 9
Youth career
1990–1991 Officine Meccaniche Frignanesi
1991–1994 Modena
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1996 Modena 32 (7)
1996–1997 Empoli 3 (1)
1997–1998 Fiorenzuola 26 (2)
1998–1999 Lodigiani 31 (15)
1999–2000 Treviso 35 (15)
2000–2001 Vicenza 31 (9)
2001–2003 Brescia 44 (15)
2003–2005 Palermo 80 (50)
2005–2007 Fiorentina 67 (47)
2007–2010 Bayern Munich 60 (38)
2009 Bayern Munich II 2 (0)
2010 Roma (loan) 15 (5)
2010–2011 Genoa 16 (3)
2011–2012 Juventus 14 (2)
2012 Al Nasr 7 (3)
2012–2013 Fiorentina 27 (8)
2013– Verona 35 (21)
National team
2004–2009 Italy 47 (16)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 06:12, 16 September 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Luca Toni, Ufficiale OMRI (Italian pronunciation: [ˈluːka ˈtɔːni]; born 26 May 1977) is an Italian footballer who currently plays for Verona. He had successful spells at top clubs such as Palermo, Fiorentina, Bayern Munich, and Roma, as well as a short stint at Juventus. Toni has also represented the Italian national team, most notably winning the 2006 World Cup. A composed finisher and an accurate penalty taker, Toni is highly regarded for his goal scoring ability, as can be seen by his prolific goals to games ratio at many of his clubs.

His physical, opportunistic, goal-poaching style of play is at times considered unorthodox, although he is also capable of holding up the ball for team-mates when playing with his back to goal. His strength, aerial prowess, and power have seen him become one of the best ever headers of the ball in the Italian League.[2] As well as the medals he has collected, he has also won several individual honours, including the Capocannonieri for the 2005–06 season in which he scored 31 goals, as well as finishing topscorer with 24 goals in the 2007–08 Bundesliga.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Toni started his professional career at Modena. This was followed by a number of seasons spent around Serie B and Serie C1 with teams such as Empoli, Fiorenzuola, and Lodigiani. After a Serie B season with Treviso in 1999, he moved to Vicenza, playing in Serie A for the first time. He then moved to Brescia, playing for two seasons alongside Roberto Baggio and Pep Guardiola.

Palermo[edit]

In 2003, he agreed to join ambitious Serie B club Palermo, being one of the main factors behind the winning team campaign that brought the Rosanero back to Serie A after over 30 years, thanks to a record 30 goals scored during the season. He consequently gained his first cap for the Italian national team in a friendly match 18 August 2004 lost 2–0 to Iceland in Reykjavík, which also marked Marcello Lippi's debut at the helm of the Azzurri.[3]

In the following season, Toni confirmed his prolificity by scoring an impressive 20 goals in Palermo's first Serie A campaign, leading the Sicilian club to a historical first qualification to the UEFA Cup.

Fiorentina[edit]

Luca Toni playing for Fiorentina.

Toni's move to Fiorentina was marked by controversy as the fans dubbed him a traitor for his departure.[4] La Viola paid €10 million to sign him.[5]

During his first season in Florence, he scored 31 goals, making him one of the most prolific Serie A strikers of all-time (the most goals ever scored in a season being 35); this was also the first time in 50 years that a Serie A player had scored more than 30 goals. Toni was awarded the European Golden Shoe for this feat, the first Italian player to win this award. His goal scoring ability brought Fiorentina to heights never seen since the late 1990s, when the Argentine Gabriel Batistuta was playing for them. They clinched fourth spot and qualified for the Champions League.

This league position, however, was revoked in the courts during the Calciopoli scandal. Italian courts recognized Fiorentina as culpable of shady dealings and convicted them to start the 2006–07 season with a 19 point deduction. Toni expressed his desire to leave the team several times during the summer to the press, but was eventually convinced by club President Andrea Della Valle to stay and help the club overcome its unfavourable position.

The following season was plagued by injury, limiting Toni's goals to a less considerable, albeit impressive, 16 goals. This was Toni's final season at the Florence club, as they agreed to sell him to German Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich. Before he left, Toni promised Della Valle not to sign for any big Italian clubs, which is believed to be the main reason he went to Germany.

Bayern Munich[edit]

Toni and Miroslav Klose against Hertha Berlin in 2009.
Luca Toni with Bayern Munich.

On 30 May 2007, Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed that Toni had signed a four-year contract with the club after agreeing to a deal worth €11.58 million[6] with Fiorentina. On 7 June, Toni was presented at a Bayern press conference along with fellow new signing Franck Ribéry.[7] Toni was given the number 9 shirt.

Toni scored four goals in a 19 December 6–0 home win against Aris of Greece to help Bayern win their UEFA Cup group. On 17 February 2008, he scored his first Bundesliga hat-trick (a "perfect hat-trick": a goal with each foot and a header, all coming in one half) against Hannover 96. Bayern won the away fixture 3–0.

In a quarter-final second leg match in the UEFA Cup, Toni scored two dramatic goals on 115th and 120th minutes of extra time, in a game which finished 3–3 and lifted Bayern Munich past Getafe CF of Spain on away goals. Bayern eventually lost to Zenit Saint Petersburg in the semi-final. At the 2007–08 UEFA Cup, he shared the first place with Pavel Pogrebnyak from Zenit at the top scorers list with 10 goals.

He scored two goals in the German Cup final against Borussia Dortmund in a 2–1 win; his second goal was the winner in extra time to give Bayern Munich another cup victory. Toni finished as top scorer in the 2007–08 Bundesliga season with 24 goals. Overall, Toni finished the season with 39 goals and 12 assists in 46 matches.

In the 2008–09 season, Toni maintained his high-standard of form for Bayern. In the Bundesliga, he started 13 games from January, in which he scored nine goals, a notable one being a late stoppage-time winner he scored against TSG Hoffenheim.[8]

Toni battled an achilles tendon injury for most of the second half of the 2008–09 season, but still finished as Bayern's leading scorer in league play, tallying 14 goals in 25 Bundesliga appearances.

Recovering from his injury he appeared in two matches of the second team Bayern Munich II in the 3. Liga in September 2009.[9]

On 7 November 2009, he was fined for leaving the stadium during the match after being substituted at half-time.[10]

Following his fall out with Bayern manager Louis van Gaal, Bayern's President, Uli Hoeneß, stated on DSF Doppelpass that the player will be allowed to leave the club on a free transfer.[11] Eventually, Toni, by mutual agreement with Bayern, was loaned out to Italian club A.S. Roma.

Roma[edit]

On 31 December 2009, Bayern Munich confirmed the transfer of the Italian striker on a six-month loan basis to Roma,[12][13][14] which offered him pre-tax basic salary of €3.1 million.[15] He debuted for Roma against Cagliari on 6 January 2010. He scored his first two goals for Roma against Genoa on 17 January 2010 (for 2–0 and 3–0). Toni would go on to score five goals in total for the Giallorossi during the remainder of the 2009–10 season, including the winner against Internazionale[16] to cut the Milanese club's lead in Serie A to a single point ahead of Roma.

Genoa[edit]

On 16 June 2010, Bayern announced the termination of Toni's contract.[17] In the same month, after some days of speculation, it was confirmed that Luca Toni had found an agreement with Genoa for a two-year contract, reportedly at a net salary of €4 million per season,[18] as subsequently confirmed by club Chairman Enrico Preziosi. The player, who was presented to the press on 1 July, took on the number 9 jersey.[18]

Juventus[edit]

On 7 January 2011, a statement in the Juventus official website announced that Luca Toni would be joining i Bianconeri on a free transfer deal, until 30 June 2012. Toni scored his 100th goal in Serie A with a brilliant header from 16 meters against Cagliari, which was also his debut goal for Juventus. Toni also scored the first goal at the new Juventus Stadium against Notts County on 8 September 2011.[19]

Al Nasr[edit]

On 30 January 2012, Juventus confirmed that they have agreed a deal for Luca Toni with Emirati club Al Nasr.[20]

Return to Fiorentina[edit]

On 31 August 2012, in the closing hour of the transfer market, Fiorentina announced that they completed the signing of Luca Toni, after he had been previously linked with a move to Siena. Toni made it a goal-scoring return for La Viola when, after coming on as a 64th minute substitute for Adem Ljajić, he scored with his first touch the second goal in a 2–0 win over Catania in the Stadio Artemio Franchi on 16 September 2012.[21]

Hellas Verona[edit]

On 5 July 2013, Toni signed a one-year contract with newly promoted to Serie A club Verona.[22] On 17 August, Toni scored his first goal for Verona in a 1–0 victory over Palermo in the Coppa Italia.[23] In his Serie A debut for the club on 24 August, Toni scored twice as Verona recorded a 2–1 home win over Milan on the opening day of the season.[24] Toni displayed fine form for Verona and after scoring two as well as assisting a goal in successive games [25] there were calls for him to return to the national squad with Toni stating "I am thinking about doing well. Then it is for Cesare Prandelli to decide. For me, it would be a pleasure and an honour to go to the World Cup, but whatever happens there would be no issue".[26]

He ended the 2013–14 season with 20 goals, making him the second-top goalscorer in Serie A at the age of 36.[27]

International career[edit]

Toni made his debut for the Italian national team as a substitute on 18 August 2004 in a friendly match against Iceland. He scored his first international goal in a World Cup Qualifying match against Norway on 4 September 2004.

On 17 November, Toni made his international start in a friendly match against Finland. On 11 June 2005, he captained the Italian squad for the first time in his career in a friendly match against Ecuador because of the absence of current captain Fabio Cannavaro and other experienced players. On 7 September, Toni scored his first international hat-trick in a 4–1 victory against Belarus in a 2006 World Cup qualifying match.

Toni was selected to Italy's 2006 World Cup squad, and scored two goals in the quarter-finals against Ukraine on 30 June, his only goals of the tournament. In the final against France, he hit the crossbar with a powerful header and later netted another header although the goal was disallowed as the attempt was ruled offside.

Toni scored two goals in Italy's 2–0 win over Scotland in a Euro 2008 qualifier. Due to the aforementioned foot surgery, he missed Italy's next two qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Lithuania. He returned to the qualification games against Georgia, and assisted Fabio Grosso, who scored the final result (2–0). On 17 November 2007, Toni struck in the first minute of a 2–1 qualifier win over Scotland at Hampden Park, which secured Italy's place at the final stages. Four days later, he scored the second goal against the Faroe Islands, as Italy closed with a 3–1 win.

He was called up to the Italian squad for UEFA Euro 2008, but his form in the tournament was disappointing, with his only goal against Romania being disallowed for offside. Toni's main contribution for the team was winning a penalty kick against France, which ended 2–0. Italy then bowed out of the tournament on penalties to Spain in the quarter-final.

Despite the Euro 2008 disappointment, Toni was called up by coach Marcello Lippi for Italy's first two 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Toni also scored an equaliser against Greece in an international friendly, where the match ended 1–1. He was not included in Lippi's provisional 30-man Italian squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup final tournament.

International goals[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
1994–95 Modena Serie C1 7 2 - - 7 2
1995–96 25 5 - - 25 5
1996–97 Empoli Serie B 3 1 - - 3 1
1997–98 Fiorenzuola Serie C1 26 2 - - 26 2
1998–99 Lodigiani 31 15 - - 31 15
1999–2000 Treviso Serie B 35 15 4 1 39 16
2000–01 Vicenza Serie A 31 9 2 0 33 9
2001–02 Brescia 28 13 4 1 2 0 34 14
2002–03 16 2 0 0 16 2
2003–04 Palermo Serie B 45 30 2 0 47 30
2004–05 Serie A 35 20 1 1 36 21
2005–06 Fiorentina 38 31 4 2 42 33
2006–07 29 16 0 0 29 16
Germany League DFB-Pokal Europe Total
2007–08 Bayern Munich Bundesliga 31 24 4 5 11 10 46 39
2008–09 25 14 2 1 8 3 35 18
2009–10 4 0 1 1 2 0 7 1
2009–10 Bayern Munich II 3. Liga 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
2009–10 Roma Serie A 15 5 2 0 0 0 17 5
2010–11 Genoa 16 3 2 4 18 7
Juventus 14 2 1 0 0 0 15 2
2011–12 0 0 0 0 0 0
United Arab Emirates League President's Cup Asia Total
2011–12 Al Nasr UAE Pro-League 7 3 5 3 2 1 14 7
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
2012–13 Fiorentina Serie A 27 8 1 0 28 8
2013–14 Verona 33 20 2 1 35 21
2014–15 Verona 2 1 1 1 3 2
Total Italy 453 200 26 11 2 0 479 210
Germany 62 38 7 7 21 13 90 58
United Arab Emirates 7 3 5 3 2 1 14 7
Career Total 522 242 38 21 25 14 585 276

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Palermo[28]
Bayern Munich[28]

International[edit]

Italy[28]

Individual[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Toni is engaged to the Italian model Marta Cecchetto. Their son was stillborn on 1 June 2012.[30] Their daughter Bianca was born in June 2013.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Luca Toni". UEFA.com. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Sorpresa viola, torna Toni Ecco la Fiorentina che verrà". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Islanda – Italia: 2 – 0" (in Italian). Italia1910.com. 18 August 2004. Retrieved 30 June 2007. 
  4. ^ Grech, Kevin (19 June 2010). "'Luca Toni left Palermo for the money' – Fabrizio Miccoli". Maltatoday. Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  5. ^ US Città di Palermo Report and Accounts on 30 June 2006 (Italian)
  6. ^ ACF Fiorentina Report and Accounts on 31 December 2007 (Italian)
  7. ^ "FCB unveil star signings Ribéry and Toni". fcbayern.de. 7 June 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2008. 
  8. ^ "Toni seals last-gasp win". Sky Sports. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2009. 
  9. ^ "Die Erzgebirger siegen am Ende verdient bei Toni & Co." (in German). kicker.de. Retrieved 30 September 2009. 
  10. ^ "Lahm hit by Record Fine as Bayern punish Stars". ESPN. Retrieved 7 November 2009. 
  11. ^ "Luca Toni Can Leave Bayern Munich For Free, Says Uli Hoeness". goal.com. 20 December 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2009. 
  12. ^ "Toni delighted to be returned to Serie A". ESPN. 2 January 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  13. ^ "Perfekt! Die Roma leiht sich Toni" (in German). kicker.de. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009. 
  14. ^ "DEFINITO L'ACCORDO CON IL BAYERN MUNCHEN PER IL TRASFERIMENTO DEL CALCIATORE LUCA TONI" (PDF). AS Roma (in Italian). 31 December 2009. Retrieved 11 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "Perfezionato il contratto economico con il calciatore Luca Toni" (PDF). AS Roma (in Italian). 2 January 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2011. 
  16. ^ "Roma 2–1 Inter: Superb Giallorossi Edge Enthralling Encounter To Cut Nerazzurri's Lead To One Point". goal.com. 27 March 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2010. 
  17. ^ "Vertrag aufgelöst: Luca Toni verlässt FCB endgültig" [Contract terminated: Luca Toni finally leaves FCB] (in German). FC Bayern Munich. 16 June 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2010. 
  18. ^ a b "Toni: "Grazie Genoa, non ti deluderò"" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  19. ^ "Notts County spoil Juventus party to celebrate new stadium". BBC Sport. 9 September 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  20. ^ "Toni leaves Juventus". ESPN Soccernet. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  21. ^ "Luca Toni overjoyed with return goal". sportsmole.co.uk. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  22. ^ "Ufficiale: Luca Toni in gialloblù" (in Italian). hellasverona.it. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  23. ^ "Tim Cup: Toni gol, l'Hellas va avanti" (in Italian). hellasverona.it. 17 August 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  24. ^ "Toni brace stuns AC Milan". ESPN FC. 24 August 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  25. ^ "Luca Toni". ESPNFC. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  26. ^ Meyer, Alex (7 January 2014). "Luca Toni hopeful of World Cup spot". SportsMole. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  27. ^ "Antonio Di Natale set for retirement u-turn". AllSports. 18 May 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  28. ^ a b c "L. Toni". Soccerway. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  29. ^ "Die Torjäger" (in German). kicker.de. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  30. ^ "Luca Toni asks for 'understanding' after stillbirth tragedy". goal.com. 1 June 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  31. ^ "Toni becomes a father a year after tragedy". eurosport.yahoo.com. 20 June 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2013. 

External links[edit]