ROME - Italy coach Marcello Lippi is not ruling out calling up Francesco Totti after the AS Roma forward said he would be willing to come out of international retirement to play at next year's World Cup.
The 33-year-old took a break from the Azzurri after being part of Lippi's 2006 World Cup-winning team and subsequently made the move permanent, citing fitness problems.
"Totti is a great person and a great player," Lippi told reporters on Tuesday.
"I know there will be controversies (about selections) between now and June. I enjoy them, bring them on. I'm not excluding anything."
Totti, who has made a strong start to the season scoring six goals in Serie A, was quoted by Tuesday's La Gazzetta dello Sport as saying: "It depends on the coach's selections and how I am (physically). I owe him a lot."
Lippi suggested he had little doubt that Totti would come running if he called.
"Up to now, no one has ever said no to my national team," he said.
Lippi said he would change all 11 players in his starting line-up for Wednesday's final World Cup qualifier against Cyprus in Parma after his team booked their place in South Africa with a 2-2 draw in Ireland on Saturday.comments