Italy coach Marcello Lippi has admitted that Alessandro Del Piero is not guaranteed a place in his World Cup squad.
Although the Juventus striker will start in Wednesday’s final qualifier against Moldova, Lippi can offer him no assurances about his place in next year’s squad.
“Some players can be certain, others a little less,” said Lippi when asked his squad for next year’s finals in Germany.
Asked about Del Piero’s status, Lippi replied: “I’ll be frank, he is not among the certain ones. Eight months away from the competition I don’t think it is right to give out the names of the ones who can be sure of going.
“When he says that he doesn’t have to demonstrate anything tomorrow I believe he means that if he plays as he can then he has nothing to prove. All the players have to do well game after game – that is the way things are.”
Del Piero has been edged out of the Italy attack with Lippi preferring to play with two big forwards in front of playmaker Francesco Totti.
On Saturday against Slovenia, Del Piero was on the bench with Lippi preferring Fiorentina’s Luca Toni and Milan’s Alberto Gilardino with Totti.
The Italy coach confirmed that Del Piero will start in attack alongside Milan’s Christian Vieri and Udinese’s Vincenzo Iaquinta.
“We will play with those three up front, they are a trio that really has everything – power, speed and creativity,” added Lippi.