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Real escape with hope of progress

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Luca Toni warns against Middle East move

Fiorentina striker Luca Toni has issued a frank warning to players considering playing out their career in the Middle East, insisting he made a mistake by moving to Dubai.

Toni, 35, moved from Juventus to the United Arab Emirates earlier this year to play for Al Nasr in the Dubai Pro League. The striker has since moved back to his homeland, and says the experience abroad was not one he would recommend to colleagues.

"Do not go to Dubai. I like playing real football and it is not like that over there. The place is nice, but the atmosphere is not," Toni told Corriere della Sera.

"I want it to be a challenge on the field and I want to play at a high level in a competitive league."

Meanwhile, the former Bayern Munich front-man has also been scathing in his assessment of Serie A, claiming teams must adopt a more attractive style.

"The standard of football has got worse. We are going down in quality. In the summer of 2007 when I went to Germany, the Italian league was better than the German one.

"Now it is the opposite. The problem is the quality that we offer to the fans. Without new stadiums we are not going anywhere," he said.

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