World Cup holders

Cannavaro wants Totti and Nesta to return

December 2, 2009
By Soccernet staff

Fabio Cannavaro has urged retired international team-mates Francesco Totti and Alessandro Nesta to return to the Italy side for the defence of their World Cup title in South Africa next year.

Totti and Nesta ended their international careers after winning the World Cup in 2006, but captain Cannavaro wants both the veterans in his team as Italy attempt what appears an unlikely repeat of their exploits in Germany.

"I have talked with Francesco and also Alessandro. We were fortunate to experience (the World Cup final in) Berlin together and we have a strong bond," Juventus defender Cannavaro said. "I am always trying to make them rethink, even if it was their decision and that should be respected."

Totti, 33, has said he would consult with Italy coach Marcello Lippi in March or April to see if a return to the national side was possible given his recurring knee problems. Nesta, who is also 33 and was out for year with back trouble, had previously indicated he would stick to his decision to retire.

Media pundits have said it would be unfair to other players if the pair are allowed to walk straight back into the World Cup squad having not contributed to qualification.