Toni admits to questioning Italian retirement

July 13, 2008

Italy striker Luca Toni has admitted he considered retiring from international football in the wake of his side's exit from Euro 2008.

The Bayern Munich hitman failed to score in the tournament as the Azzurri lost their quarter-final clash with eventual winners Spain on penalties.

The world champions' poor showing in Austria and Switzerland cost coach Roberto Donadoni his job, and Toni admitted he too was left questioning his future with the national team.

The striker missed a host of chances in Italy's four games, especially the 2-0 win over France which sent them into the knockout stages.

The 31-year-old told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper: 'After the exit I considered whether I ought to retire.

'But it is my country, it is my team. I cannot and do not want to give that up. If (new Italy coach Marcello) Lippi wants me, I am available for the defence of the title in 2010.'

Toni's goal return at Euro 2008 was in stark contrast to his performances for Bayern last season, for whom he scored 39 times in all competitions.

The former Fiorentina forward won the Bundesliga title and the DFB Pokal in his debut year in Germany, but believes new coach Jurgen Klinsmann has to strengthen the squad if Bayern are to challenge for the Champions League.

The German champions have been strongly linked with a move for Stuttgart frontman Mario Gomez, but so far midfielder Tim Borowski and back-up goalkeeper Hans-Jorg Butt are their only acquisitions this summer.

'We have a good team, but in my opinion it is very clear,' he said. 'Yes (Bayern have to strengthen).

'In order to win the Champions League you need as many champions as possible. Let's see what Bayern are still prepared to invest.'