Luca Toni was always confident ‘Fiorentina is the ideal club’ for Franck Ribery and helped broker the surprise transfer.
The pair played together at Bayern Munich and remained good friends, so when Ribery became a free agent over the summer, Toni suggested a new experience in Italy.
“We went out for dinner often in Munich and it started out as a bit of a joke, but I knew he wanted to keep playing after Bayern Munich didn’t renew the contract,” said Toni in an Instagram Live chat.
“I thought Fiorentina was the ideal club for Franck. The Viola would get an important player and above all a strong figure to help the younger elements in the dressing room, which is where he becomes fundamental.”
Before the serious ankle injury, Ribery had scored two goals and provided two assists in 11 Serie A appearances.
The 37-year-old was a star name for new President Rocco Commisso, who purchased the club from the Della Valle brothers.
“I think a change was necessary at Fiorentina,” continued Toni. “The Della Valle family had brought Fiorentina back to Serie A from Serie C2 and I always got along well with them, but as with all things, there is a time when it reaches a natural conclusion and a change is needed.
“I see a much more European and enthusiastic mentality from the new owners, especially with talk of a new stadium and training centre.”
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/