Italian trio chase World Cup call-up
Mattia Destro, Luca Toni and Ciro Immobile all strengthened their claims for an Italy call-up ahead of the World Cup with their displays over the weekend.
• Horncastle: Immobile a must
Destro, 23, struck a hat trick for Roma in the 3-1 win against Cagliari to keep up the pressure on Serie A leaders Juventus, while simultaneously sending a message to Italy coach Cesare Prandelli.
"I'm just doing my best every weekend and try to do what's best for Roma," Destro said, after moving onto 13 goals for the season on Sunday.
Roma coach Rudi Garcia led the calls for Destro’s inclusion with the Azzurri, saying: "He's showing with all the goals he's scoring in recent weeks that he deserves a place in the Italy squad. But it's not up to me to decide."
Destro faces competition from 36-year-old Luca Toni, whose 16th goal of the season earned Verona victory in the derby against Chievo, and Ciro Immobile, who inspired Torino's recovery to beat Catania 2-1.
"If people are talking about players who have scored fewer than me [going to the World Cup], then why shouldn't I stand a chance too?" Toni told La Gazzetta Dello Sport after breaking a Verona club record for the most number of goals scored in a single season.
"It's such a great joy to be back to my best and to have broken a scoring record with Verona. I've done it before at other clubs, and now I've done it here too."
Immobile is Serie A's joint-leading scorer together with Carlos Tevez, which also makes him a strong case for inclusion.
"This goal's not a message for Prandelli -- he will know what his decision is for the World Cup -- this was an important goal in a difficult game," he said. "I didn't have the best of games today because there wasn't much room, but it's the goals that count."
Juventus striker Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, Genoa's Alberto Gilardino, Alessio Cerci of Torino and Guangzhou Evergrande's Alessandro Diamanti are also on Prandelli's radar with little over a month to go before a decision on the 23-man squad for the World Cup must be taken.