World Cup-winning Italy striker Luca Toni has announced he will retire after Verona’s meeting with Juventus on Sunday
.The 38-year-old, who finished as joint-top scorer in Serie A last season, has been unable to replicate such prolific form in 2015-16 to prevent Verona’s relegation.
“After thinking for a long time, I’ve decided that, after 22 years of football, the next game will be my last as a professional,” he told a news conference.
“I’ve realised that I have reached the end of the path.
“I’m a little emotional, it was a difficult and painful decision but I’ve come to the end of my playing career.
“I’ve been thinking about it for some weeks, they haven’t been easy weeks. At the Bentegodi against Juventus will be my last match.”
Toni won two league and cup doubles with Bayern Munich after strong spells with Palermo and later Fiorentina. He claimed the European Golden Shoe after scoring 31 league goals for the latter in the 2005-06 season.
He was named in the all-star team at the 2006 World Cup in Germany after helping Italy to win the trophy for the fourth time.
When asked if he had any regrets, Toni pointed to the 2009-10 season, when his loan spell with Roma ended with them finishing just two points behind champions Inter.
“Any regrets? Not having won the Scudetto with Roma,” he said.