Cesare Prandelli has commented on Francesco Totti and Luca Toni’s World Cup chances: “In an emergency, I would know who to take.”
The veteran duo have seen their form this season earn calls for their involvement with Italy at the World Cup, but both were left out of recent tests at Coverciano, suggesting their chances are all but over.
For their CT, however, the door remains slightly ajar, in a period in which he believes the amount of options available to take to Brazil should not be seen as negative.
“I am glad to have doubts, two years ago there were very few,” Prandelli has commented in an interview released today by the Corriere della Sera.
“This time there are more and it is better. If a CT can choose between eight or nine players it means that there is a technical project.
“A few months ago it was worse because some of the kids had not grown, but instead, in this last period, Destro and Immobile have developed and are giving encouraging responses.
“Young people are an asset, not a fear. Cabrini and Rossi in 1978 were rookies and in Argentina were the protagonists. Do not worry.”
Prandelli, who also spoke about Mario Balotelli, recently selected 42 players for physical tests at Coverciano and he recently received the results on those.
“The results are more or less in line with those of last year and of two years ago. The benefit is, and for this I thank the League, is that in gathering them together at Coverciano, we can create a customised program. Now we know what to do when in the past we have had to wait.”
Speculation continues to surround whether or not Antonio Cassano can make the squad.
“The idea of seeing him run like a midfielder is difficult, but, in Parma he is showing good continuity and his quality is not in question.
“Then, we are going to look at who has to stay at home, in his place, and we shall see. Nothing is definite.
“He lost his place for behavioural issues? This is not the issue. If I called him up then we think it is because he can be a major player, perhaps decisive for half an hour.
“He knows how to be in a good team. In addition, with Donadoni he has not always played out wide, but he has also played as a false centre-forward.
“And Giuseppe Rossi? We wait and wait for him, he is a great guy, but the clock is ticking…
“And Totti and Toni? They are two champions and I would not dismiss them with a key keystrokes.
“Let’s say that in an emergency, I would know who to take.”
Prandelli will be taking senior members Gigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo.
“When they lose motivation, the champions leave. But Gigi and Andrea are more than champions. I would like to film them when they arrive at Coverciano and show the pictures to kids.
“After 100 games they have the same desire as on the first day. The national team, for them, is a unique thing.”