TOLDO: "JUST INTER NOW"
Thursday, 24 June 2004 16:31:34
MILAN - "I was hoping to finish off with a great victory, but the disappointment of how it went in Portugal cannot cancel out eleven beautiful and intense years with the Azzurri - an unforgettable experience."
Francesco Toldo confirmed his international retirement which he announced to journalists during the Italian national team's flight back from Lisbon to Milan.
"I will dedicate myself to Inter only," said the custodian in a telephone interview. "It's a decision I made before the European Championship because I absolutely didn't want to put personal matters before the interests of the squad.
"But I'm thirty-three and it's right to give the new generations a chance. I would have liked to have left the national team after a success at the European Championship, but now it wouldn't be right to change my mind after having made a precise choice.
"I thank everybody - the managers, coaches and my teammates for the experiences I have had in these eleven years with the Azzurri shirt, both at youth- and first-team levels.
"I leave with one certainly. Italy is in good hands because Buffon has confirmed he's an excellent goalkeeper and a genuine colleague. Now I'll have a holiday, spend time with my family and have a rest.
"And after that, just Inter."