Friday, June 30, 2006

Luca Toni meets the world

Thirty-plus goals for Fiorentina aside, Italy striker Luca Toni was still an unknown prior to this World Cup. His brief career with the Azzurri had produced 7 goals, but with names like Inzaghi, Del Piero and Totti kicking around the roster, there was a hint of doubt surrounding Toni.
During Thursday's quarterfinal against Ukraine, Toni stamped his quality on this Cup with a brace in Italia's 3-nil win.
Toni is that rare commodity in Italian forward players; he's a bruiser who can't often be marked out of the game. There's no Baggio-style finesse and ponytail here, just pure physicality, touch and a nose for the goal.
The Italian backline kept Shevchenko in check, and Gianluigi Buffon came up trumps in goal for the blueshirts. Forza Italia! ... Germany next.