Toni retires at end of ‘terrible’ Verona season


Veteran Italian striker Luca Toni will hang up his boots after a final Serie A game with Verona against Juventus on Sunday, after announcing his retirement from football on Wednesday.

The 2006 World Cup winner has scored a total of 156 Serie A goals for eight different clubs throughout a storied career that also saw him star for Bayern Munich and become the Bundesliga’s top scorer in the 2007-2008 season.

Last season Toni, at 38 years old, became the oldest player to win Serie A’s top scorer (Capocannoniere) award — an accolade he shared with Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi when both finished on 22 goals.

Verona were relegated from Serie A last week having spent most of the season at the foot of the table and Toni admitted the north-eastern club’s troubles this season had prompted his decision.

“After so many years of playing football, 22 in the professional ranks, I think the time has arrived for me to say goodbye,” Toni told a press conference.

“It was a difficult decision for me to make but I think it’s the right decision to stop. I will feel a mix of joy and sadness, but I think it’s right for me to retire at home with Verona on Sunday against Juve.

“We’ve had a terrible year and for me, mentally, I think I’ve come to the end.”