Tuesday April 15 2014
Prandelli: 'Totti, Toni and Immobile'

Cesare Prandelli ruled Francesco Totti and Luca Toni out of the World Cup, praised emerging talent like Ciro Immobile and won’t pressure Giuseppe Rossi.

The Italy Coach held a Press conference at the end of two days of fitness tests at the Coverciano training ground with 42 players.

“These are the players. If there are any emergencies, we would evaluate others,” said Prandelli when asked if Totti could still receive a call.

“I have the utmost respect for these great players like Totti, Toni and Antonio Di Natale that they deserve a much longer answer than I can give here. I therefore prefer to say what I said earlier about Francesco: these are the players we have chosen. If there are emergencies, then we will look elsewhere.

“The younger players have in recent weeks emerged from their shells, convinced many doubters and proved they can handle the pressure.

“Doubts arrive when you see, as in recent weeks, that we ‘provoked’ our younger players and they responded by becoming protagonists, not being afraid of challenging themselves against the big boys.”

Perhaps the young player who most fits that bill is Ciro Immobile, who is current Capocannoniere with 19 Serie A goals for Torino.

“I remember that criticism of those who said he was not ready for Serie A, yet now claim he is first choice for the World Cup. He is doing well and we are tracking his progress. We will make our choices and eventually those choices will be justified.”

Rossi has not played since January 5 due to a knee ligament injury, but is in contention for the trip to Brazil.

“It’s not fair to the lad to say we are optimistic or pessimistic. We just have to wait and see him on the field and that is all.

“Of course we all want him to be ready and in the starting XI, but he had this serious injury and we need to see his recovery on a physical and psychological level. We are all fans of Rossi and hope to see him on the field soon.”