Wednesday September 11 2013
Prandelli: 'Totti and Rossi options'

Cesare Prandelli said “everyone can hope” for a World Cup call, including Francesco Totti, Antonio Di Natale and Giuseppe Rossi.

Italy qualified with two rounds to spare for the first time in their history, so have plenty of time to prepare for the 2014 tournament in Brazil.

“Can Totti be included? Everyone can hope in a place, and I mean everyone,” Prandelli told Sky Sport Italia.

The Roma captain retired from international duty to preserve his fitness levels after winning the 2006 World Cup, but his splendid form means a recall is possible.

Di Natale played his part with a goal against Spain at Euro 2012, while Rossi is on his way back to full fitness at Fiorentina after two years of injury nightmares.

“Rossi can be an extra bonus for the team, as he is a very important player. We need to work well over the next few months.

“Can Mario Balotelli take us to victory? Yes, I agree. I want to praise the crowd at the Juventus Stadium for the Czech Republic game. People feared there would be jeers for Balotelli, but instead thousands of fans cheered him on.

“It was a wonderful evening with so much love for the Azzurri jersey. That was the atmosphere we’d like to see around football every time.”

The Coach also commented on the growing reports he will quit the job after the World Cup for a return to club football.

“There is no rush. We will clarify my future, but there is absolutely no hurry to do it now. I didn’t expect all this clamour over the news.

“Gigi Buffon is also right when he says we are on the third row of the grid for the World Cup, but we want to dream big.”

In Formula 1 the third row would be those starting in fifth and sixth position, so Buffon and Prandelli do not include the Azzurri among the absolute favourites.