The Scottish team fears him, the top national teams envy his presence, and the entire Azzurri fanbase (but more importantly, Roberto Donadoni) is relying on him for Italy’s next match against Scotland. Luca Toni may be holding the winning ticket for next Saturday, the game that will decide if La Squadra will be going to Euro 2008. In the traditional Azzurri press conference, the Bayern striker talked about Italy’s next match, as well as the latest episodes of violence in Italy last week-end.
“Glasgow will be a very hot environment for us Saturday, but as a group we are fully aware of what’s at stake. All those who have been called up, even those with less experience, know how to approach the game, as well as the risks and responsibilities associated with it. Scotland is a strong team, especially at home, and the fact they have stopped their home league games in light of this match, shows they too will be putting everything on the table for 90 minutes.” said Toni. “Will I be decisive? Maybe, I would like to be the man of the match, but my job will only be to make myself available to Donadoni and the group, just as any other player who will step down on the field. We’ll be playing for 2 years’ worth of effort in a period of 90 minutes. Domenech says we’ll be playing for a draw? Starting the game with that mentality will only mean trouble for us, we are a square and tough team, I don’t even want to think about the possibility of not making it to Euro 2008″.
Toni had a few words about the Italian coach Donadoni: “With time, the manager was able to form a very nice group in this Azzurri squad. Like many other players I did not know Donadoni at the beginning, but now I can say with certainty that the group is united, we are all rowing in the same direction: qualifying for the European championship”.
“Soccer has little to do with the death of Gabriele Sandri” commented the Italian striker, regarding this week’s tragedy and associated episodes of violence. “The problem now is to strike down the deliquents and try to bring families back into the stadiums. As players the only thing we can do is behave ourselves on the field, in order to give a good example and keep the tension to a minimum. Stopping the league is not a solution, I would prefer more severe laws and make sure they are enforced, such that those who are going to the stadium for any reason other than supporting their own team, would be denied entrance. I was very moved by the fact someone my own age died Sunday, and to see all these children crying in the stadiums”.