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Italy squad is strange - Toni

Thursday, May 15, 2014 by Goal.com

The veteran forward was critical of the Azzurri's provisional list to take to the World Cup, where he sees Brazil and Uruguay as two of the favourites

Hellas Verona striker and former Italy star Luca Toni has criticised Cesare Prandelli's 30-man provisional squad for this summer's World Cup.

Toni's 21 goals in 35 games this season had seen him linked with a return to the Azzurri set-up, despite the 36-year-old having not played for the national team in five years.

Despite accepting that he was always an outsider to make the final 23-man squad, never mind the provisional list, the former Bayern Munich forward has his doubts over some of the players that Prandelli might take to Brazil.

"Prandelli made some choices I did not expect," Toni told Verona's website.

"My absence was already expected, I was not part of the team during World Cup qualifying, but I am surprised by Alberto Gilardino’s exclusion."

Italy suffered a humiliating group stage exit four years ago after winning the trophy in 2006 and Toni thinks they must concentrate on winning rather than playing pretty football.

"Playing a beautiful style of play is not enough, you have to win," the attacker added. "To do this we must be strong in such a hard group, as we did in 2006 in Germany.

"I think that Brazil and Uruguay are the pre-tournament favourites."

Italy have been drawn with Uruguay, England and Costa Rica in the World Cup finals - considered one of the harder groups at the tournament.

England won their group in Uefa qualification the same as Italy, while Costa Rica finished second behind USA in the Concacaf region.

Uruguay needed to defeat Jordan in an intercontinental play-off having finished fifth in the Conmebol region. However, they won the Copa America three years ago and reached the semi-finals of the last World Cup.

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