Hellas Verona vs Juventus: A football icon hangs up his boots

luca-toni
www.bleacherreport.com

Looking for a clear case of a “dead rubber” match? Check out Hellas Verona versus Juventus at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi this Sunday.

One one side will be a team that have been already relegated. On the other is a team that have been already crowned champions of Italy. For all intents and purposes, neither Juventus nor Verona have much to play for. The Gialloblu have not beaten Juventus at home since April 2000. They have only managed to win a dismal four games this season, and it took them until February 3rd to win their first match.

Today, however, will be significant as one of Italian football’s icons will be officially saying arrivederci to the game. Luca Toni, after a career spanning over two decades has decided to call time on his career. This season has seen Verona score a dismal 30 goals. Last term, Toni was joint Capocannoniere with Inter’s Mauro Icardi as he netted 22 goals and ensured that Verona stayed afloat. Unfortunately, this year, injuries have hampered the powerful striker and it is no surprise that as his goals have dried up, his side have struggled as a result.

As most Serie A fans know, the 2006 World Cup winner has been quite the journeyman in his long career. Teams like Fiorentina, Palermo, Genoa, Roma, Juventus, and Bayern Munich are among those he has featured for, whilst winning two top scorer prizes in Italy and one in Germany. Netting against one of his ex-sides – and former teammate Gianluigi Buffon – would certainly be a good way to sign off in his final game as a professional.

Meanwhile, Massimiliano Allegri’s side will arrive in Verona with quite a few players unavailable for this match. Although Giorgio Chiellini has been included in the squad, Juventus are still without the services of Claudio Marchisio, Martin Caceres, Sami Khedira as a result of injury and Paul Pogba, Hernanes, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Mario Mandzukic as a result of suspension.

Juventus are undefeated against Verona in their past 12 games across all competitions and have scored at least two goals in six of those matches. The Bianconeri have won 25 out of their past 26 games, with Bologna being the only side to successfully prevent them from clinching all three points, so for all intents and purposes this will be a straightforward win for the visitors.

MORE: You can watch Hellas Verona vs Juventus live with FuboTV 24-hour game pass FREE.

Michelle Bonsu

Freelance football journalist based in New York. Primarily support AC Milan as well as the Ghanaian and Italian NT’s, but you’ll find me watching the Bundesliga and Premier League as well–enjoy a good game, regardless of where it’s being played. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of my favourite players.