Toldo with Internazionale in 2009
|Full name||Francesco Toldo|
|Date of birth||2 December 1971|
|Place of birth||Padua, Italy|
|Height||1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)|
|1990–1991||→ Verona (loan)||0||(0)|
|1991–1992||→ Trento (loan)||38||(0)|
|1992–1993||→ Ravenna (loan)||31||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
In a professional career which spanned two full decades, he mainly represented Fiorentina and Internazionale (eight and nine seasons respectively), winning a total of 15 titles combined – in his last five years, however, he was solely a backup for the Nerazzurri.
For Italy, Toldo appeared in five international competitions, being a starter in Euro 2000, where he helped Italy reach the final. Regarded by pundits as one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation, in 2013, he placed 15th in the IFFHS 'Best Goalkeeper of the 21st Century' election.
Early career and Fiorentina
Born in Padua, Veneto, Toldo started his career with A.C. Milan in 1990. He never played a game with the Milan however, being loaned during his stint with the club, successively to Hellas Verona FC (1990–91), Trentino Calcio 1921 (1991–92), and Ravenna Calcio (1992–93).
Toldo then joined AC Fiorentina in 1993, and became the Viola club's starter for eight seasons, winning the Coppa Italia twice, the Supercoppa Italiana, and playing in one edition of the UEFA Champions League. In 2000, Toldo was named the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year for his performances.
One year before Fiorentina faced bankruptcy, Toldo and Rui Costa were sold to Parma A.C. for a combined 140 billion lire in June 2001 (55 billion lire for Toldo; about €28.4 million in fixed exchange rate). It made the club had a net profit in 2000–01 financial year, instead of a net loss. However, both players refused to join. Toldo himself would be the replacement of departing keeper Gianluigi Buffon, which Toldo refused to live under the expectation. Eventually Toldo joined Inter instead of Parma; Parma signed Sébastien Frey from Inter instead of Toldo; Gianluigi Buffon joined Juventus from Parma; Edwin van der Sar went to Fulham from Juventus.
During his first season with the Inter under manager Héctor Cúper, Toldo performed at a high level, reaching the semi-final of the UEFA Cup, and narrowly missing out on the Serie A title on the final match-day as Inter threw away their lead by losing to Lazio, eventually finishing the 2001–02 Serie A season in third place behind Juventus and Roma. Due to his consistency with Inter, Toldo soon became a fan favourite and was noted for his passionate and high-quality performances. The following season, he was praised particularly for his saves against Valencia in the Champions League quarter-final, leading football pundits to nickname the Madrigal stadium "La Plaza de Toldo". During the match, Toldo was seen choking teammate Di Biagio after an argument on the pitch. With his performances, Toldo helped Inter reach the semi-finals of the Champions League that season, losing out to the eventual champions and inter-city rivals Milan on away goals. Another great memory for Inter fans was his contribution to the equalising goal, scored by Christian Vieri, in the last minute of an eventual 1–1 draw against title rivals Juventus in the 2002–03 season; at first it appeared that Toldo might have been the scorer instead of Vieri, and even today the goal is still often referred to as "Toldo's goal". During the 2004–05 season, Toldo helped Inter win the Coppa Italia, and he also reached the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League, losing out to Milan once again, who went on to reach the final. He followed up this victory with another Supercoppa Italiana title in 2005. Toldo was the number one keeper for Inter until the summer of 2005, when Brazilian Júlio César relegated him to the bench after he had elected to sit out Inter's summer friendly match tour of England.
Toldo briefly regained first-choice status in February 2006, following his signing of a contract extension (until June 2009) and a slip in form by César, not before rumours linked him both to U.S. Città di Palermo, Milan and Fiorentina. Toldo still contributed 9 appearances for Inter in Serie A during the 2005–06 season, where Inter were awarded the title following Juventus's and Milan's involvement in the 2006 Calciopoli scandal, also helping Inter to win another Coppa Italia, as well as the 2006 Supercoppa Italiana. He also made 6 Serie A appearances for Inter during the 2006–07 title-winning season. Toldo made 8 appearances across all competitions during the 2007–08 season, 3 of which were in Serie A, and the other 5 coming in the Coppa Italia, where Inter reached the final. Inter won the scudetto that season for the third successive time.
In April 2009, the 37-year-old, still backing up César, signed a further two-year extension to his link, taking it to the summer of 2011. Toldo made 7 appearances across all competitions during the 2008–09 season, making 3 appearances in Serie A, 3 in the Coppa Italia, and 1 in the Champions League, as Inter won their fourth consecutive Serie A title that year.
In June 2010 it was reported that Toldo would retire from football after winning a Serie A, Coppa Italia and UEFA Champions League treble during the 2009–10 season, since the club had also signed a new backup keeper, Luca Castellazzi. It was formally announced on 7 July, via Inter Channel, the official club channel.
At Under-21 level, Toldo made 8 appearances for Italy between 1993 and 1994; he was notably a member of the side that won the 1994 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, making a crucial save in the semi-final shoot-out against hosts France.
Toldo was capped 28 times for Italy. His debut came on 8 October 1995, replacing Gianfranco Zola after the ejection of Luca Bucci in a 1–1 draw in Croatia for the UEFA Euro 1996 qualifiers. He was picked up for the finals in England, as a reserve.
Despite facing competition from high profile keepers such as Gianluca Pagliuca, Angelo Peruzzi, Christian Abbiati, Luca Marchegiani, Francesco Antonioli, and in particular Gianluigi Buffon, Toldo was chosen to start in Euro 2000, as Buffon broke his hand in a friendly match against Norway just eight days before the tournament started.
He helped his country to finish runner-up at Euro 2000 behind the World Champions France, keeping three clean sheets, and saving one penalty during the semi-final against hosts Netherlands, and adding two more penalty saves in the successful shootout. Toldo was named as part of the Team of the Tournament for his performances, also earning the third place in the IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper Award. Following his successful European Championship campaign, Toldo retained the number 1 Italy goalkeeping spot throughout the first half of Italy's 2002 World Cup qualifying campaign, although Buffon was ultimately named Italy's starting goalkeeper for the 2002 World Cup.
Style of play
After playing in several outfield positions during his youth career, Toldo was inspired to become a goalkeeeper by his role models Dino Zoff and Giovanni Galli. A large, strong, and imposing keeper, he was known for his handling and command of the area on crosses; despite his large physique, he was an agile, consistent, and reactive keeper, who was also competent with the ball at his feet. Toldo also made a name for himself as a penalty-saving specialist throughout his career.
|Italy national team|
- UEFA Champions League: 2009–10
- Serie A: 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10
- Coppa Italia: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2009–10
- Supercoppa Italiana: 2005, 2006, 2008
- Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year: 2000
- UEFA European Football Championship All-Star-Team: 2000
- ESM Team of the Year: 2001–02
- Although the equalising goal against Juventus in the 2002-2003 season is sometimes referred to as "Toldo's goal", it was Christian Vieri who scored it. See Del Piero illude la Juventus, poi Vieri (e Toldo) firmano il pari (in Italian), la Repubblica, 19 October 2002 (retrieved 29 December 2015).
- "Buffon miglior portiere degli ultimi 25 anni". la Repubblica (in Italian). 25 January 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
- "IFFHS' World's Best Goalkeeper of the Year 2000". RSSSF.com, Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
- "Buffon e Van der Sar maestri con i piedi" [Buffon and Van der Sar masters with their feet] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 14 March 2001. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
- "IFFHS: BUFFON miglior portiere del XXI secolo" (in Italian). Sport News. 5 January 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
- Elena Querzola. "Forza Viola 1/1997" (in Italian). Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- "Toldo e Rui Costa al Parma Buffon a un passo dalla Juve". la Repubblica (in Italian). 29 June 2001. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- A.C. Fiorentina S.p.A. bilancio (financial report and accounts) on 30 June 2001 (in Italian), PDF purchased from Italian C.C.I.A.A.
- "Fiorentina duo reject Parma move". BBC Sport. 30 June 2001. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "REACHED AN AGREEMENT FOR TOLDO: HE IS INTER'S". FC Internazionale Milano. 5 July 2001. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "L' Inter tratta Toldo, Rui Costa verso Parma". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). 1 July 2001. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
- "Ecco Francesco Toldo" (in Italian). Rai Sport. 7 July 2001. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- "La Juve ricorda il 5 maggio 2002: «Che giornata!»" (in Italian). Tutto Sport. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- Fabio Bianchi (23 April 2003). "A Valencia c' è Plaza de Toldo" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- "L'Inter è in semifinale grazie a un grande Toldo" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 22 April 2003. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- "Milan march on to Manchester". UEFA. 13 May 2003. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- "Del Piero illude la Juventus, poi Vieri (e Toldo) firmano il pari" (in Italian). la Repubblica. 19 October 2002. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
- Nicola Cecere (5 October 2005). "Mancini chiude la porta a Toldo" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- "Toldo with Inter until 2009". Inter Milan. 20 February 2006. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
- Luigi De Stefani (25 August 2014). "Lunga intervista a Francesco Toldo, molto bella!" (in Italian). Il Nerazzurro. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- "Inter 'keeper Toldo signs two-year extension". ESPNsoccernet. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
- "Toldo with Inter until 2011". Inter Milan. 2 March 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
- Taidelli, Luca (18 June 2010). "Toldo si ritira: resta in società" [Toldo retires: will stay with team] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
- "Toldo: "I have decided to hang up my boots"". Inter Milan. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
- "Un sinistro di Orlandini regala all'Italia il secondo titolo consecutivo". figc.it (in Italian). FIGC. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
- "Nazionale in cifre: Toldo, Francesco" (in Italian). FIGC. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- "UEFA Euro 2000 team of the tournament". uefa.com. UEFA. 1 January 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
- Giancarlo Mola (29 June 2000). "Italia, finale da leggenda Olanda spreca e va fuori" (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- Marco Morgante (8 May 2012). "Storia degli Europei: 2000, Francia Italia e il golden gol" (in Italian). Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- "IFFHS' World's Best Goalkeeper of the Year 2000". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
- Luigi Garlando (27 February 1999). "Tutto con queste due mani" [Everything with these two hands] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
- "Toldo" (in Italian). Solo Calcio. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
- "Così Toldo ha imparato a parare i rigori" [This is how Toldo learnt how to stop penalties] (in Italian). La Repubblica. 30 June 2000. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- "Francesco Toldo - International Appearances". RSSSF. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- "F. Toldo". Soccerway. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- Karel Stokkermans (14 March 2007). "ESM XI". RSSSF. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
- "ONORIFICENZE". quirinale.it (in Italian). 12 July 2000. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Francesco Toldo.|
- Official website
- Inter official profile
- Stats at Tutto Calciatori (Italian)
- La Gazzetta dello Sport profile (2009–10) (Italian)
- La Gazzetta dello Sport profile (2007–08) (Italian)
- National team data (Italian)
- Francesco Toldo at National-Football-Teams.com
- Francesco Toldo – FIFA competition record
- WorldFootball profile
- FootballDatabase profile and stats