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Former Roma Striker Luca Toni Announces Retirement

His time in Rome may have been brief, but Luca Toni left an indelible mark on an already passionate fanbase. 20 years and 200+ goals later, Toni is callin' it quits.

Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Roma's transfer strategy, if you can call it that, is a maddening thing. One minute they have their sights set on the absolute perfect player. sure he's probably out of their cost range, but at least they're thinking right, then the next minute they go ahead and pay money--actual, real money--for someone like Victor Ibarbo. It's enough to make you go mental, especially when it happens during the winter, when the consequences are more immediate, but every now and then, they get one just right--the confluence of player, position, cost and timing.

With all due respect to Stephan El Shaarawy and Diego Perotti, Roma has never done a better bit of midseason business than they did on December 31, 2009; the night they brought a goal scoring Adonis to the Eternal City. We're talking, of course, about Luca Toni. Brought on loan from Bayern Munich, Toni would go on to make 15 instrumental appearances for the Giallorossi, scoring five goals along the way, perhaps none bigger than this one:

Not only did this goal send Carlo Zampa and Daniele De Rossi into hysterics, it cut league leading Inter Milan's lead over second place Roma to a single point. While the stretch run didn't go as we planned--Roma dropped crucial points at home versus Sampdoria in week 35, ultimately falling two points short of the Nerazzurri--there's no way they would've hung with Inter were it not for Toni's transformative presence.

I don't think I'll ever understand, nor have I ever gotten over, why they didn't pull out all the stops to retain Toni after this loan spell, but those 15 magnificent weeks and those handful of goals were more than enough to etch Toni's name into Roma lore.

Toni would go on to make stops in Genoa, Juventus, Al Nasr,  and Fiorentina before finally resurrecting his career with  Hellas Verona, for whom he scored 47 goals in three seasons, and while Roma was but a minor pit stop in Toni's career, he'll always be a giallorosso to me.

Congratulations on the retirement, you handsome bastard. Well earned.