Monday October 7 2013
Prandelli would call ‘fantastic’ Totti

Cesare Prandelli has confirmed he would have to consider selecting Francesco Totti for the World Cup should the Roma idol continue to sparkle.

The No 10 hasn’t played for his country since the 2006 World Cup Final, but the 37-year-old is still pulling the strings for surprise Serie A leaders Roma.

“Players with great talent like Francesco, like Parma’s Antonio Cassano, are always under observation,” the Italy tactician stated on Monday.

“We’ll evaluate Totti a month before the World Cup. But a Totti like this is a player to talk about, to reflect upon, it is a fantastic Totti.

“If the World Cup was today then I would absolutely call him up, there is no doubt about that.”

The tactician admitted he had not held talks with the veteran forward, but underlined that Totti would have to be 100 per cent fit.

“I haven’t spoken to him about it, there is no need eight months before the event,” Prandelli continued.

“The priority is to get to the World Cup with 22 players who are in good shape. The athletic condition of players will be decisive.”

One player who has been selected for the squad ahead of the games against Denmark and Armenia is Mario Balotelli, an inclusion which has raised eyebrows given the CT’s code of ethics.

“I can’t add another punishment to a punishment,” the boss noted. “Had there not been a midweek round of League games then Balotelli would not be here.

“His three-match ban expired today, after yesterday’s Juventus-Milan, so that is why he has been selected.

“I have never called up a suspended player before. The rules are clear, I don’t see the need for controversies.”

Fiorentina striker Giuseppe Rossi has also returned to the set-up after missing most of the last two seasons through injury.

“Giuseppe is back after a long time being away. He’s recovered from injury even if he’s still suffering. I won’t put him under pressure, but I’m happy that he is once again with us.

“It is too early to say that he will be the favourite to play alongside Balotelli at the World Cup.”

Prandelli was also questioned on his future with suggestions that he won’t renew his contract once Brazil 2014 is over.

“There is no official decision to make right now and we’ll evaluate everything in March. The Federation directors and myself have been very clear and direct with each other.”

Italy have already qualified for next summer’s championship.