Football 3 years ago

Is tempting Toni just a tease?

  • Is tempting Toni just a tease?

Discussing Adelaide United and Luca Toni in the same sentence is a grand suggestion, but Adelaide United Chairman Greg Griffin explained the club is trying its best to lure Toni to Adelaide.

Speaking on Monday night to Adelaide radio station FIVEaa, Griffin confirmed Toni has been offered to Adelaide, and that the club is working diligently to meet his agent's growing expectations.

It is not often Adelaide is linked with a player of Toni's calibre, and Griffin's efforts to entice the prolific Italian should be applauded, regardless of whether he eventually signs. That Toni was even offered to Adelaide underlines the A-League's global success and allure - a competition which has proven to be far more than a comfortable means of retirement for former world-class players.

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Envisioning Toni in a red shirt may be a tad premature, but entertaining oneself with highlights from the 38-year-old's illustrious career is necessary in this situation. His overhead-kick goal for Vicenza will leave you stunned and bewildered.

On the weekend, Toni broke the 20-goal mark with current club Hellas Verona. His two goals against Parma launched him to the pinnacle of Serie A's Capocannoniere (top-scorer chart) ahead of Juventus striker Carlos Tevez. Toni's 21 goals will come into focus when Verona tackles Serie A Champions Juve this weekend with Tevez (20) and Internazionale's Mauro Icardi (20) hot on his heels in the competition's final round of fixtures.

If Toni was to grace the grass of Coopers Stadium, the high-profile poacher would encourage Adelaide's large Italian community to embrace Adelaide United in the same manner they do Adelaide City. The two clubs are not consistent counterparts, therefore it is acceptable to support both simultaneously. Two seasons ago, Alessandro Del Piero enticed Adelaide's Italian community, and Coopers was duly packed.

Toni stands at an imposing 193cm, but his aerial prowess pales in comparison to his unconventional yet sensationally smooth modus operandi. Don't get me wrong, his heading ability is outstanding, but even more extraordinary is the balance and mobility he commands from such a rangy frame. His ability to swivel and score with his back to goal makes him almost impossible to defend, and this is just a secondary practice. Ideally, Toni is sidestepping defenders, manoeuvring his way to goal where he draws incredible power from his long levers.

The Italian requires barely a sniff to punish his opposition, and his résumé displays a long list of world-famous clubs all of which he represented with aplomb. Palermo, Fiorentina, Bayern Munich and now Verona, all clubs where Toni's statistics promise or promised at least one goal every two games.

If Toni was to link-up with Gombau and his Spanish fleet, he would embody the 'missing link' in a side severely lacking a ruthless goalscorer. Toni's injection into Adelaide's line-up would be seamless as his playing style suits Gombau's possession-based game. He also possesses tremendous power when shooting with the inside of his foot - a skill he could hopefully pass on to the Adelaide players yet to master this art.

Of course, it is only early days, but there is no harm in entertaining such an immense proposal.

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