Italy coach Marcello Lippi admits he has a “pretty definite idea” of the 23 players who will make up his World Cup squad and says he is confident that Roma’s Francesco Totti will be fit for the finals.
“I will make my decision on the final squad on May 15,” Lippi told reporters, “I have pretty definite idea (of the 23),” he added.
But the Italy coach said not too much should be read into the 29 players he called up for this week’s training session.
“There are 29 players here and I wanted them to feel part of the project – this is not a project that stops at the World Cup,” he added. “Don’t forget that shortly after the World Cup we have a friendly in August and then in September qualification for the European championships begins,” said Lippi.
“We have been following the progress of more than just 23 players and this is a reward for them and also a way for them to feel involved,” he said.
“There are some who won’t be there but they need to feel proud and satisfied in the knowledge that they are part of the group even if they don’t go to the World Cup they are part of our squad,” said Lippi.
Totti has been out of action since undergoing surgery to repair a bone he fractured in his left ankle during a Serie A match against Empoli on February 19.
“Totti is doing well, there is cause for optimism,” said Lippi, “He is very enthusiastic and keen to get back.”
Lippi was less upbeat about the prospects of Monaco striker Christian Vieri making the final cut.
“Christian is a bit behind and he hasn’t been able to get back to intensive training but I will be following his progress and we will see on May 15,” he said.
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