Romanticised by Calcio followers and ridiculed by critics in equal measure, the likes of Miroslav Klose, Massimo Maccarone and Antonio Di Natale have p365足球备用ushed their younger counterparts hard in the Capocannoniere race this season. Now, Luca Toni can be added to that list.
Many were quick to write off the 37-year-old following his struggles in the early part of the season, but 10 goals in his last 13 matches have capped a remarkable turnaround, with his pair against Napoli in Week 27 further proof that his powers are far from waning.
Toni's second stint with La Viola may not have been anywhere near as memorable as his first, but he nonetheless showed enough quality in his fleeting appearances to suggest that he was still worthy of top-flight representation, hence Verona taking a chance on him.
The former Bayern Munich, Palermo and Roma star's days at the top level looked numbered when he cut short a barren spell at Juventus for what seemed to be a final pay day with Emirati outfit Al Nasr in January 2012, only to rejoin Fiorentina seven months later.
With 11 matches left and his future in the game uncertain, given that his contract with Verona expires at the end of the season, Toni still has plenty of time to match his exploits of last term and join his fellow veterans for one last hurrah.
Although never the quickest or most technically gifted, Toni established himself as a premier marksman with the same brute force used against both Miguel Britos and Giandomenico Mesto en route to finding the back of Rafael's net in typically-assured fashion.
For his second, Emil Hallfredsson will rightly assume credit for his lung-bursting dash down the left wing and subsequent cross into the middle of the box, but Toni was there, at the right place at the right time, to blast the ball past the stranded Brazilian goalkeeper.
Toni had scored five times in 13 previous meetings with the Partenopei, making them one of his favourite opponents, and it prove真钱博狗d to be the case once more at the Marc'Antonio Bentegodi on Sunday, when he took just seven minutes to inflict more Neapolitan misery.
Unfortunately his inclusion never materialised, and it's possible that such disappointment may have hindered him at the beginning of this season, but not anymore, to the extent that he now lies just two strikes behind the Gialloblu's all-time top scorer Emiliano Mascetti.
Like them or lump them, but late bloomers hav金沙赌城e become more than just a freak occurrence in Serie A.
It didn't stop eyebrows from being raised, however, as Daniele Cacia returned to Serie A on the back of a career-best campaign in the second tier. Even so, Toni wasted no time in silencing any doubts, bagging 20 goals to even fuel talk of an Italy recall prior to the World Cup.