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Two by two

Match-winner Toni repaying fee in goals

Bang on time for the run-in to the end of the campaign, Luca Toni has hit unstoppable form with a rain of goals for Bayern. The striker’s fourth two-goal haul in ten days fired Munich to victory over Borussia Dortmund and a 14th DFB German Cup triumph on Saturday, also earning the 30-year-old his first winners’ medal at club level.

”In his case, we’ve done a superb piece of transfer business,” general manager Uli Hoeneß enthused after watching the Italian take his total to 35 goals in all competitions. The striker, brought in from Fiorentina for just under €10 million at the start of the season, has begun to look cheap at the price in the light of 20 goals in the Bundesliga, ten in the UEFA Cup and five in the DFB Cup, an outstanding average of 0.85 goals per game. “He’s repaying the entire fee in his very first year with us,” Hoeneß remarked.

Two-time winner in Berlin

Toni clearly feels at home in Berlin, collecting his first club trophy on the same ground where he and his Italy team-mates won the World Cup on 9 July 2006. His 11th-minute opener on Saturday, superbly created by Mark van Bommel and Franck Ribéry, was a textbook demonstration of how to be in the right place at exactly the right time, while the extra-time winner highlighted the big man’s dazzling technical ability.

”He’s a poacher, a goal-getter, straight out of the manual,” Oliver Kahn commented ahead of the final. After the match, the club captain found even more emphatic words of praise: “He doesn’t just score goals, although obviously that’s crucial. He has a winning mentality, and that’s good for the team as a whole. He’s an unbelievably positive guy.”

Not satisfied yet

”He’s definitely a phenomenon,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge agreed. “We knew he’d get goals. He proved it in the Italian league, hardly an easy place,” Rummenigge mused. “When we signed him last summer, we just hoped he’d maintain his strike rate.“ Toni has already exceeded expectations. “What he’s doing at the moment is unbelievable. Two goals a game, and always crucial. Long may it continue“

”The goals count double from now on,” Toni himself commented, eyeing a series of pivotal fixtures in the remaining weeks of the season. Merely collecting the DFB Cup has done little to still the player’s hunger for honours. “I’m hoping for lots more goals between now and the end of May. We’re still missing two more trophies,” declared Toni, who is contracted to Munich until 2011. He is hoping for many more trophies before then, regardless of the venue.