Italy news

Totti considers Italy return

March 20, 2013
By ESPN staff

Roma striker Francesco Totti admits he has not ruled out the possibility of emerging from international retirement and making a push to play for Italy at the 2014 World Cup.

Francesco Totti Italy World Cup
GettyImagesFrancesco Totti's last match for Italy was the 2006 World Cup final

Totti, 36, has not played for the Azzurri since the 2006 World Cup final victory over France, with injuries and lapses in form keeping him out of the national team setup.

But he has returned to contention in Cesare Prandelli's side with 11 Serie A goals for Roma this season, prompting the Italy coach to suggest Totti will be considered for next year's tournament in Brazil.

"Prandelli's words pleased me a lot," Totti said. "I don't know, at the moment I'm doing fine. But from here until 2014, let's see. It could be that in a year I quit. Who knows? When Prandelli calls me up let's see."

Despite failing to gain selection for Thursday's friendly against Brazil and next week's World Cup qualifier in Malta, Totti is hopeful of maintaining his strong club form and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon believes his resurgent compatriot is in line to return to the international fold.

"He is still one of us even today," Buffon said. "For a player with that talent, that character and that class who continues to play at a formidable level like Francesco is doing this year, it is right that the coach does not want to discount anything."

Roma director Bruno Conti has backed Totti to give Prandelli a selection headache next year.

"Cesare Prandelli knows him very well, so if he said these things it means he had reason to," Conti told Yahoo Eurosport. "I don't want to be biased, but I can assure you that seeing Totti train every day you'd think he was still a kid.

"When Francesco puts an idea in his head, he achieves it. Now that he is 36 years old, he knows how to train in order to be more effective and you can see the results.

"Just look at what he did against Parma apart from the goal, when he ran all the way up the pitch to get the free kick."