Totti & Nesta urged to return for Italy

MILAN - Juventus defender Fabio Cannavaro has asked Roma forward Francesco Totti and AC Milan stopper Alessandro Nesta to end their international retirements and return for the Azzurri at next year's World Cup.

Totti and Nesta both quit after Italy's 2006 World Cup triumph in Berlin but have been in good form after recovering from career-threatening injuries.

"I have talked with Francesco and also Alessandro. We were fortunate to experience Berlin together and we have a strong bond," Juventus defender Cannavaro told reporters late on Monday.

"I am always trying to make them rethink, even if it was their decision and that should be respected."

Totti, 33, has said he would consult with Italy coach Marcello Lippi in March or April to see if a return to the national side was possible given his recurring knee problems.

Nesta, who is also 33 and was out for year with back trouble, had previously indicated he would stick to his decision to retire.

Media pundits have said it would be unfair to other players if the pair are allowed to walk straight back into the World Cup squad having not contributed to qualification.