Saturday March 7 2015
Toni: 'Inzaghi put me off coaching!'

Verona hero Luca Toni said seeing Pippo Inzaghi at Milan put him off coaching. “He’s aged 10 years!”

The pair won the 2006 World Cup together and come face to face this evening at San Siro. Click here for a match preview.

“I see Pippo, who since being on the Milan bench has aged 10 years,” Toni told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I think that up until a few months ago they’d have made him Honorary President and today they criticise him. That’s why I will never become a Coach.”

The Hellas Verona star discussed many areas of his life, including how he first met his partner Marta Cecchetto.

“I was in a club and suddenly a door opened, smacking me right in the face. At first I was furious, then I actually looked at her and offered her a drink.

“My friends said ‘We’ve lost him!’ and they were right. She changed my life and arrived at the toughest time of my career, when I was at Fiorenzuola, Coach Alberto Cavasin insulted me every day and I thought about quitting football.

“I went on to Brescia, where Pep Guardiola taught me the importance of humility. After training sessions he’d offer to stay behind and hit a few crosses for me. I chose to go down into Serie B and Palermo turned my career around.”

After Bayern Munich and Dubai, Toni had decided to retire, but changed his mind due to a bizarre coincidence and entered into a second golden period of his career.

“Just as Marta was telling me I was driving her crazy hanging round the house all day and I didn’t want to join Siena, who I knew would get relegated, Fiorentina called.

“They had lost Dimitar Berbatov an hour before the transfer window closed. Andrea Della Valle rang me and I rushed over. Hit the brakes and start again, that’s my destiny.”

The 37-year-old revealed he “felt like a child” when meeting Marco van Basten for the first time.

“Yet I was 28 and had just scored against his Holland team when he walked over to tell me I was really good. Van Basten was so wonderful to watch, not ‘wonky’ like me when I play.”

Finally, Toni discussed dealing with his first son being stillborn, being a father to two kids now and his habit of sleepwalking.

“The other night Jacopo Sala, who was sharing a room with me in the team retreat, was astonished. I was dreaming that my daughter was falling off the bed, so I woke to find myself trying to grab him.”

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