Roma captain Francesco Totti has ruled out a return to the Italian national team, despite the world champions’ qualification for Euro 2008.
Totti has not played for his country since the World Cup final in 2006, but there was speculation that he would return to the fold if Italy qualified for the Euro 2008 finals.
But Totti has dashed the hopes of coach Roberto Donadoni by telling the Gazzetta dello Sport that he had no intention of representing his country again.
“I know the rules of the group and out of respect for that I would never think of returning to the Azzurri squad,” said the 31-year-old.
“I made my decision to retire from international football straight after the World Cup Final in Berlin.
“The (Italian) Federation asked me to take some time and I did, but at the start of last season I told them that I wanted to quit and I have never reconsidered since, whether we qualified for Euro 2008 or not.
“My relationship with Donadoni and the Federation is clear and civil. I wish my former teammates all the best for the European Championship.”
Donadoni had insisted that both Totti and defender Alessandro Nesta would be welcomed back into the squad, but claimed that decision was out of his hands.
“I did everything possible,” said Donadoni. “How can I force them to return to the national side if they aren’t motivated? It would be counterproductive.
“If they change their minds I would listen to them, but certain choices deserve to be respected.”