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Goals galore

On-song Toni sets sights on scoring crown

Following the strict definition of a hat-trick as used in German football - all three goals must be scored consecutively within one period of play - Hans Dorfner was the last man to achieve the feat for Bayern in the Bundesliga. The great event took place almost two decades ago on 29 April 1989, when Dorfner rattled in his goals away from home against Hannover. On the same ground almost 19 years later, on Sunday 17 February 2008, the former Munich great was superceded by Luca Toni.

The Italian struck all the goals after half-time to earn his side a 3-0 victory in Hanover, although the match-winner was quick to praise the entire team afterwards. “Whenever one man scores three goals, it’s earned by the team as a whole. Bayern paid a lot of money for me, so I’m hoping to repay some of the fee in goals,“ the deadly hitman declared.

Outstanding stats

He is well on the way to fulfilling that aim. The triple strike in Hannover represents the highpoint to date of an exceptional campaign by the tall marksman. Toni has made 26 appearances for Bayern in all competitions (Bundesliga, UEFA Cup and DFB Cup), amassing 30 scorer points via 22 goals and eight assists. He leads the Bundesliga scoring charts on 13 goals, and is joint top scorer in the UEFA Cup with Henrik Larsson and Razak Omotoyossi of Helsingborg on six goals.

Toni loosed off far and away the most shots of any player on the park in Sunday’s Hannover clash, prompting a chorus of praise from Ottmar Hitzfeld: “Luca Toni surpassed himself in the second half. He’s a competitive player who always gives 100 percent. He has a killer instinct, he’s a World Cup winner and he was the leading scorer in Italy last season. He’s simply picked up where he left off since coming to the Bundesliga.“

Aiming high

Toni is making no secret of his ambition to top the goalscoring ranking in Germany too. Asked after the Hannover encounter if that was really his target, the 30-year-old answered “Ja“ in German, before switching back to his native tongue: “I want to end up as leading scorer, but winning the title with Bayern is more important. That’s why I want to score as often as possible.“ Hannover was just a step along the way.