Tuesday, 4 May 2010

[WC2010] Lippi staying quiet on Totti

Italy fans will have to wait until May 11 to find out if Francesco Totti is to return to the national team, according to Azzurri coach Marcello Lippi.

Totti retired from international duty after winning the FIFA World Cup in 2006 and has repeatedly broken down with injuries in the four years since.

But there is media speculation in Italy that the Roma frontman may return to the national team set-up as Lippi's team prepares to defend their title in South Africa.

"Will Totti be the only surprise on my list?" Lippi said. "I will give the list of the provisional squad on May 11.

"Of that list of 30 players, I will then have to reduce it to 23."

Lippi did announce that AC Milan defender Alessandro Nesta, who has turned down Lippi's advances before, will not be a member of the team this summer.

"I can only say that with regards to Nesta I have lost hope," Lippi said.

When asked about the possibility of seeing Juventus forward Amauri make the squad, Lippi said: "I said that once Amauri got his Italian passport, I would consider it."

Amauri was given his Italian nationality last month but has yet to make his debut with the Azzurri squad.

"I have not included Amauri because I have made my choices based on the ideals I have always followed," Lippi said.

The veteran tactician believes that the three-day training camp that is currently taking place in Rome with 29 players has, so far, benefited everyone.

"I have spoken to the players," Lippi said. "It's an opportunity to be in contact with them in view of the World Cup.

"I have reminded them of many things. We need to be convinced of our quality and that Italy has had many times a starring role. I have told them what the programme will be."

Lippi is without Inter and Roma players, who are involved in Wednesday's Coppa Italia final.

That game has been marred by controversy regarding Inter's 2-0 victory at Lazio on Sunday which hindered Roma's Scudetto hopes.

"Many things came out of that Lazio v Inter game," Lippi said.

"More than anything, Inter's superiority, then Lazio's psychological condition and a particular situation in the stands of the Stadio Olimpico, especially after Inter's goals.

"I have never seen a stadium cheer against their own team."

Italy get-together squad
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Federico Marchetti (Cagliari), Salvatore Sirigu (Palermo).
Defenders: Salvatore Bocchetti (Genoa), Leonardo Bonucci (Bari), Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus), Mattia Cassani (Palermo), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Fabio Grosso (Juventus), Nicola Legrottaglie (Juventus), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Gianluca Zambrotta (Milan).
Midfielders: Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Antonio Candreva (Juventus), Andrea Cossu (Cagliari), Gennaro Gattuso (Milan), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria), Simone Pepe (Udinese), Andrea Pirlo (Milan).
Forwards: Marco Borriello (Milan), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Fabio Quagliarella (Napoli).

World Cup countdown
> A 30-man provisional World Cup squad will be named on May 11.
> To get accustomed to the altitude in South Africa, Italy will hold their pre-tournament training camp in the northern Sestriere mountains in Torino, rather than at their traditional base of Coverciano in Firenze, starting on May 23.
> Final 23-man squad travelling to South Africa will be announced and officially handed to FIFA on June 1.
> Italy play Mexico (in Brussels, Belgium on June 3) and Switzerland (in Geneva, Switzerland on June 5) in their final warm-up games.
> Italy will travel to South Africa on June 8. They will train at Southdowns College in Irene - between Johannesburg and Pretoria - and stay at the nearby Leriba Lodge hotel in Centurion for the duration of the tournament.
> Italy open the defence of their world title in Group F against Paraguay in Cape Town on June 14, then play New Zealand in Nelspruit on June 20 and Slovakia in Johannesburg on June 24.

Source: PA

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