Antonio Cassano downbeat on Brazil
Antonio Cassano, who last played for Italy in the Euro 2012 final and revealed he had not heard from coach Cesare Prandelli since, has said he does not expect to be part of the squad for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
Cassano has played in three European Championships but never a World Cup, and said he felt his best chance of going to Brazil would be on holiday.
"Of course I think about Brazil -- it's a beautiful country and I'd love to go there on holiday, but I don't see much chance of me going for any other reason," the 31-year-old told Mediaset.
"It's been 18 months since Prandelli last called me. If in this one-and-a-half years, he's called everybody else but me, he must have some reason in his mind, but I don't know or understand it. Never mind, though, I'm not going to cry about it."
Speaking in August, Prandelli left the door open for the Parma forward, saying: "We will be taking our best players to Brazil and we've got to keep an eye on Cassano -- if he has a stratospheric season with Parma, then we’ll take him into serious consideration."
Prandelli has refused to rule out calls for Roma's 37-year-old Francesco Totti, Udinese's Antonio di Natale, 36, or Sydney FC's Alessandro Del Piero, 38, to be part of the picture next summer.
Lorenzo Insigne, another fringe player, said he believed age -- at either end of the spectrum -- should not be a barrier to a call-up.
"If I want to convince the coach to take me to Brazil, I've got to do well for my club in the league and the Champions League," the 22-year-old Napoli forward said at a press conference.
"I'll try to give it my best and earn his faith. Totti is a great champion, but we youngsters are always willing and available to make things difficult for the coach.
"All that matters is having the conscience right and knowing I've given it my best shot. Then it's up to the coach to decide."