Toni ready for the pressure
By Andrew Scurr
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Luca Toni admits he will be under pressure to provide Italy's goals at the World Cup.
Italy striker Luca Toni admits he will be under pressure to provide the goals to propel the Azzurri to World Cup success in Germany.
At the age of 29, Toni is set to make his first appearance on the world's biggest stage after an impressive campaign in Serie A with Fiorentina.
With 31 goals to his name last term, the Italians are pinning a lot of their hopes on the Viola hit-man shining in Germany, but despite the pressure to score, Toni is remaining calm.
"There will be a lot of pressure, that's normal. But I will stay calm and keep my eyes on what is possible and try to have a fine World Cup," he told The Guardian.
"I'm a calm person. When things went badly in my career I didn't worry, and it's the same now that they are going well.
"After the season I've had there will be pressure, but I will deal with it as I always have.
"I don't know how it will go because I've never been to a World Cup before, I don't know how you feel emotionally."
Toni believes Italy have been able to move away from the defensive mindset they have become renowned for since the arrival of coach Marcello Lippi.
With three strikers as well as an attacking midfielder in Mauro Camoranesi set to be in Lippi's starting line-up against Ghana on Monday, the 29-year-old is expecting the Italians to play at their exciting best in the World Cup opener.
"We've played well in our last few games. Lippi coming in has meant our game has looked more attractive, more offensive," he continued.
"We're playing with three men up front and we've put three goals past Holland and four past Germany.
"Having Camoranesi in midfield gives us another attacking option as well.
"In the last few friendly games we've managed to play the way we want to, which is important as well.
"Italy's been given a reputation as a very defensive team, even if sometimes it hasn't been, but in the last few games we've seen a different kind of Italy, more positive, looking for the ball more, keen to impose our style."