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Luca Toni Announces Retirement

luci-toniWorld Cup winner Luca Toni says he will retire after Sunday’s match against Serie A champion Juventus. The 38-year-old Hellas Verona striker says

”this has been the worst year of my career. … Maybe I wouldn’t stop if we had had a good season.”

Despite ending last season as joint capocannoniere along with Mauro Icardi with 22 goals and becoming the oldest Serie A top goalscorer in history in the process, age has finally caught up with the 38-year-old World Cup winner.

“After many years of playing football and having taken time to reflect, Sunday will be my last game as a professional player,” Toni told reporters. “I’m emotional about it.

“It was a difficult and painful decision for me but I have decided it is time for me to end my time in football. I’ve had a few weeks to think about it all and it hasn’t been an easy few weeks.

“The game against Juventus at the Bentegodi will be my last game.”

Verona is in last place and will spend next season in Serie B. Slowed by injuries, Toni has scored five goals in 22 appearances this season.

Toni emerged as a dominant scorer with Palermo and also was a standout for Fiorentina and Bayern Munich during his peak years.

He scored twice in Italy’s 3-0 victory over Ukraine in the quarterfinals of the 2006 World Cup, which the Azzurri went on to win.