Saturday January 2 2016
Toni: 'Retirement undecided'

Luca Toni admits he “hasn’t decided yet” whether to retire at the end of the season and looks back over Juventus regrets.

He will turn 39 in May, but the Verona hitman is still as potent as ever, finishing joint Capocannoniere last term with Mauro Icardi on 22 Serie A goals.

“Everyone says I signed on to become a director of Verona, but the truth is I am still a football player and I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll retire in June or in 2017,” he told Tuttosport newspaper.

“I’ve been supposed to quit for the last four years and I’ll make a decision in the spring. A lot will depend on how the season goes and how I’m feeling, so whether I want to keep challenging myself all over again.

“Would I become a Coach? No, it’s far too stressful. I’ve seen some of my ex-teammates get wiped out so fast.”

Verona face Juventus on Wednesday, one of Toni’s many former clubs.

“It’s better we face them now after the Christmas break, so hopefully some will still be distracted. Juve are clearly stronger, but we can cause them problems.

“I like Mario Mandzukic, as like me he’s an old-school centre-forward. Now the fashion is for the ‘False 9,’ but when the team is struggling, a big striker knows how to help out. He might not be great to watch, but between goals, assists and hard work for the team, he does more than anyone.

“I think to be considered a great striker you need to net 20 goals for at least four or five seasons. I prefer someone who trips up on the ball and scores 20 rather than a player who pirouettes three times with a back-heel flick and scores 10.

“It’s true I have regrets about Juventus, because I was at a big club and would’ve gladly stayed longer, as I still have a strong rapport with the old guard there.

“When Antonio Conte arrived, he had different ideas and I opted for a change of scenery. It’s a pity, as I never got the chance to prove what I could do with him, but a Coach can prefer different styles.”