Should Totti be allowed to make World Cup comeback?
Italy coach Marcello Lippi says we won’t know until next week whether Francesco Totti will come out of international retirement at the World Cup.
It’s unclear if the wait is because Totti has not decided yet, Lippi has not made up his mind or they are just building the tension ready for the announcement of the 30-man preliminary squad on May 11.
The AS Roma striker, 33, quit the Azzurri after their 2006 World Cup triumph but has recently hinted he would be interested in going to South Africa in June if he was fully fit.
Injuries have dogged him for the past few years but he is looking sharper now than he has for a while in a title-chasing Roma side. Totti never excelled for Italy but he offers a creativity the squad is now sorely lacking.
The big question in Italy though is whether Lippi should allow him to waltz back into the team or the squad having not contributed to qualification and given renewed controversy over his on-field behaviour.
If Totti is called up, the striker that misses out on selection will be feel very hard done by. Giampaolo Pazzini and Fabio Quagliarella helped during qualifying and even though World Cup hopeful Luca Toni has not featured for Italy of late, he endured a tortuous Euro 2008 for the Azzurri colours while Totti was sunning himself on a beach.
Not only does Lippi have to consider whether the injury-prone Totti could last for a potential seven games in a month, he also has to weigh up the possibility that the inclusion of the forward will cause ructions in and out of the squad.
Do you think Totti should go to the World Cup? Perhaps you can make up Totti’s and Lippi’s minds!