Ranieri hints at Totti World Cup omission

ROME - Francesco Totti may have missed out on being named in Italy's preliminary World Cup squad, club coach Claudio Ranieri intimated on Saturday.

Roma striker Totti had been considering coming out of international retirement for the June 11-July 11 tournament in South Africa but media reports have said coach Marcello Lippi has decided against recalling him and has informed the club.

The Italian football federation has made no comment and Lippi has said details of the squad will only be announced on Tuesday.

"Selfishly I am happy," Ranieri told a news conference when asked what he thought about the rumours and the fact Totti could now be fresher for next season.

However, the Roma boss did not confirm he knew Totti had been omitted.

Totti caused uproar in Italy after being sent off in last Wednesday's Italian Cup final defeat to Inter Milan when he violently kicked out at Mario Balotelli.

Ranieri has been mooted in the media as a possible successor to Lippi, who has hinted he will quit after the World Cup.

"Certain rumours please me but the issue is closed because I have a contract with Roma," he said.

His side, two points behind leaders Inter, host Cagliari on Sunday and need to win to guarantee the Serie A title race goes into the final weekend.

Inter coach Jose Mourinho has been his usual controversial self in the run-up, joking that Roma will pay relegated Siena to beat Inter in the last match.

The Portuguese is facing a federation charge over the comment and could be given a touchline ban.

"Mourinho is throwing time bombs," Ranieri added. "All I'll say is that it's too easy to make your group stronger by giving the impression that everybody is attacking you. This is a football I don't like, I'm different from Mourinho."

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