Luiz Felipe Scolari says Francesco Totti and Andrea Pirlo would be in his summer World Cup plans had they been Brazilian.
Speaking to the Corriere dello Sport on Thursday, the Brazilian tactician fuelled calls for the Roma captain – now 37 – to be recalled to the Italy set-up for Brazil 2014.
“I like Totti a lot,” Scolari noted. “He’s playing well, he has unsurpassable qualities and a great affection for Roma.
“Had he been Brazilian then he would have a great chance of being called up by me, but he is lucky enough to be eligible for a fantastic and spectacular national side.
“Whoever is good enough for Italy could also play for Brazil.”
While Totti quit the national side after success in Germany 2006, Pirlo has continued to inspire the Azzurri.
“Throughout the world there are players who are head and shoulders above the others,” Scolari noted of the 34-year-old Juventus playmaker.
“Pirlo is one of those who has marked an era for his quality, for how he treats the ball and for his ability to always find the right position on the field.
“He would play in any team in any League.”
Turning to the Italian side as a whole, the 64-year-old tactician is expecting great things from Cesare Prandelli’s men in South America.
“Italy are one of the top candidates to win the World Cup in Brazil. I like Prandelli as a Coach and a man. He’s done an exceptional job in renewing the Italy side both in terms of tactics and spirit.
“The Italy midfield plays the ball well and has elements who can develop the play, with long or short passes.”
Scolari also confirmed the story that he was once considered as a replacement for Giovanni Trapattoni after the 2002 World Cup debacle.
“I was in Italy in 2002 to talk to the Federation officials. There was a possibility that I would become the Coach of your national side, but I then went to Portugal.
“A move to Italy in the future? My contract will expire after the World Cup. Italy is certainly an appetising place for any Coach in the world. Everyone would like to work in your country.”