Wednesday May 14 2014
Toni: 'Prandelli strange Italy picks'

Luca Toni found some of Cesare Prandelli’s World Cup picks “strange. He opted for those who didn’t play as much.”

The Verona hitman had harboured ambitions to be included in the Italy squad after scoring 20 Serie A goals this season, but wasn’t the only big name left behind.

“Prandelli made some choices I did not expect,” Toni told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I’m not referring to me, as I was pretty sure I’d be left out, but I am surprised by Alberto Gilardino’s exclusion. The Coach opted for those who didn’t play as much in Serie A this season.

“I worked with Ciro Immobile in pre-season at Juventus, he is a great talent.”

Toni may well have been referring to Roma striker Mattia Destro, who was injured for six months and scored 13 goals in 19 Serie A games, and Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne, who made 24 Serie A starts.

The 2006 World Cup winner also had a warning for Prandelli, who until now has focused on getting the fans back in love with the Azzurri.

“Italy have to be protagonists in Brazil, as it’s not enough anymore to just play well. They have to win the World Cup.

“They will need a tough group and a bit of luck, although the Seleçao and Uruguay are the favourites.”

Toni has been revitalised at Hellas Verona, but still hasn’t decided on what to do next season.

“It has to be an issue of planning. I want to end on a high and certainly won’t accept a suit and tie job here in Verona. Either I play or I retire.

“I have a rapport of mutual respect with Coach Andrea Mandorlini and he’d be pleased if I remained. We are close to a signature, but first I have to talk to the club and then I’ll decide.

“After a year like this, it would be bad to throw it all away. I want to understand what the club intends to do. A two-year contract? I’d thank them for the offer, but I wouldn’t sign it.

“The fans at Verona are truly special, as they cheer you on constantly, regardless of the result. The other players tell me the supporters stand by you even when things go badly, as if they are going to criticise then they do it after the 90th minute.”

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