Returning Italy coach Marcello Lippi has confirmed he will not be putting pressure on striker Francesco Totti and defender Alessandro Nesta to re-think their decisions to retire from international football.
Lippi, who led Italy to World Cup glory in 2006 before stepping down, returned to the role last week after Roberto Donadoni lost his job following Italy’s failure at Euro 2008.
Roma captain Totti, 31, and Milan defender Nesta, 32, quit the international arena last year and Lippi says he respected the pair’s decision.
“I am totally convinced that you must respect peoples’ decisions, in this case two great champions who have given everything for the national side,” Lippi, 60, told his first news conference since his reappointment.
“It is not right (to pressure them), they’ve made a decision we must respect.”
Lippi refused to answer questions about Juventus striker Alessandro Del Piero, who is considering his international future after being a bit part player at the Euros.
“All players from 18-40 years-old enter my plans,” he said. I am here to continue a winning streak. I have the will to rediscover the great feeling from the World Cup. I restart with the squad I left, integrating other players, hopefully youngsters.”
Lippi’s first match back will be a friendly against Austria in Nice on August 20 before their World Cup qualifying campaign begins in Cyprus on September. 6.