Donadoni right to snub Del Piero's desperate lobbying
Good on Roberto Donadoni for sticking to his guns and refusing to recall either Alessandro Del Piero or Antonio Cassano to his Italy squad for the midweek friendly with Portugal.
Del PieroÃ¢ÂÂs desperate lobbying through the sporting press and the Juventus club television channel was reminiscent of David BeckhamÃ¢ÂÂs pleas to another AC Milan alumna, Fabio Capello, to furnish him with a 100th cap for England.
The spin even extended to claims that at a 33, the little maestro had learnt how to cover back to the halfway line at least, and had added an extra spring in those aging limbs with 7am work-outs in the gym. This and some hearty cheerleading from club coach Claudio Ranieri had little impact on the pragmatic Donadoni who you just felt was still smarting from being forced into a corner last October when issued an ultimatum by Del Piero to play him as an out-and-out attacker or not at all.
A couple of good displays against the likes of Palermo and Livorno were never going to cut it and really old Ale should really retire from the international scene with a modicum of grace still intact before the summer bash in Switzerland and Austria.
Cassano, for his part, cannot be allowed out in adult company and the Bari BawlerÃ¢ÂÂs interminable attention-seeking antics would necessitate the employment of a full-time nanny if he were to make the trip across the Alps.
Donadoni has already achieved the aim of making sure the World Cup holders will be present at the European Championships and having built a club spirit within the set-up he has no wish to see any chance of an Azzurri double hijacked by two loose cannons.