World Cup winner impressed in season debut.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli could be set to hand a shock recall to the national squad to Hellas Verona’s veteran striker Luca Toni.
The 36-year-old was in inspired form on Saturday, helping his new club to victory over AC Milan with a brace on his Serie A debut with Verona.
While his pre-season hopes would have centred around helping them avoid relegation, he has been handed a potential boost ahead of next month’s World Cup qualifiers with reports in Italy suggesting he may return to the international fold.
The Azzurri face Bulgaria on September 6 and will be without the suspended duo of Mario Balotelli and Pablo Osvaldo.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Prandelli could be tempted into bringing the World Cup winner in 2006 into his squad but it remains to be seen whether or not there is truth behind the speculation, and if so, whether Toni would start or just be included in the squad.
The former Fiorentina star has scored 16 goals in 47 caps for the Azzurri, but hasn’t featured in any squads for over four years.
His last appearance came at the 2009 Confederations Cup while his last goal was against Greece in 2008, but having returned to form with Fiorentina last year and now with Verona, he has worked his way back into contention of being a viable solution to Prandelli’s selection headache.
Prandelli has helped to re-build the national squad over the past three years, and has largely depended on youngsters to lead the Azzurri toward a brighter future.
However, he has never ruled out any of the veterans from returning to the fold, and it remains to be seen whether Toni will be announced in his next squad.