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Surprises abound in post-World Cup year

FC United about an hour ago
Read
Dec 6, 2013

Totti's World Cup place debated

Italy prepare for the 2014 World Cup Draw which will take place on Friday.

As Italy prepare to discover who they will meet at next summer's World Cup, debate is ongoing as to whether Francesco Totti should be part of the squad in Brazil.

Who better to be the poster boy for the new Roma kit than Giallorossi legend Francesco Totti.
Totti has impressed for Roma this season.

Follow the World Cup draw

The Roma captain retired from international football a year on from their 2006 World Cup success, yet eight years later he could feature once again at a World Cup with current Italy coach Cesare Prandelli recognising his form this season.

At the age of 37, Totti was producing some of his very best football, inspiring Roma to a seven-game winning start to the campaign before a hamstring injury stopped both him and his club in their tracks.

He is close to a return and the question is already being asked whether he will be able to convince Prandelli to take him to South America.

"From a coach's point of view, I would take him, but I don't think it's viable because he'd struggle physically to cope with a tournament like the one in Brazil," said his 2006 title-winning teammate Gennaro Gattuso to Radio Radio.

The captain of the Squadra Azzurra in Germany, Fabio Cannavaro, also believes taking Totti would be risky. "To start with, I thought that he should go, but I've had a rethink," he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

"No, it's too great a responsibility and if things don't go well, everybody would blame him. It could be a problem for Francesco."

Not so according to former Fiorentina forward Gabriel Batistuta, who would have no doubts about naming Totti in his World Cup squad.

"He's a champion and can be useful to the national team," said a man who spent three years of his career alongside Totti in their Scudetto-winning side at the start of the millennium. Players like him are unique and immortal. I'd like to know who his doctor and priest is."

Totti resumed full training on Thursday and is on course for a return to Rudi Garcia's squad for Sunday's early kick-off in Serie A against Fiorentina. The Giallorossi have won two and now drawn four games in a row without their captain, falling three points behind Juventus at the top of the table.

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