Lippi won't rule out Totti World Cup return

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The Independent Football

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 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 its 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 Milan 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."