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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.
Ronaldinho has been left out of Brazil’s squad for next month’s friendly with Ireland, making it highly unlikely he will make Dunga’s list of 23 for June’s World Cup.
It’s quite a come down for the former world player of the year but he has been having a much better season at AC Milan following three years of problems.
While everyone at AS Roma would probably do the Birdie song standing on their heads if Francesco Totti asked, the Italian capital’s golden boy learned his charms have limits this week.
The striker has been hinting for some time he’d like to come out of international retirement, having quit Italy after being part of Lippi’s 2006 World Cup-winning team.
The likes of Paolo Maldini, Raul, Steven Gerrard and Paul Scholes might be handsomely paid by their clubs, but the fact they have spurned chances to get even richer elsewhere suggests they share at least some of the fans’ devotion to the colours they wear.
Inter Milan’s Patrick Vieira recognised this recently when talking about his former Juventus team mate Alessandro Del Piero.