Lippi: I decide if Totti returns | inside World Soccer

Lippi: I decide if Totti returns

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Italy coach Marcello Lippi gave a lukewarm response to the prospect of Francesco Totti returning to play for the national team, insisting that only he would decide who earns a call-up to the squad.

The AS Roma skipper has not appeared for the Azzurri since the 2006 World Cup. He then announced his retirement from international football in 2007.

At 32, he has become increasingly more injury prone and is currently out with a leg muscle problem. Totti also had an injury-filled 2008.

However, Er Pupone recently claimed he would welcome a return to the international fold if Lippi asked him.

"I've read and heard the recent quotes from Francesco Totti about his availability for the national team," Lippi told ANSA.

"That is certainly a demonstration of great seriousness and professionalism but it is me who will make every decision.

"When he decided to retire from international duty for his own reasons, everyone including me respected that.

"This is his decision but all others are mine."

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