Francesco Totti has responded to critics who have questioned his commitment to the Italian national side.
The Roma skipper is refusing to play for The Azzurri until 2007 in order to fully shake off an ankle injury.
A stuttering start to Italy’s Euro 2008 campaign intensified the calls for Totti to return to the national team and he has been criticised for his absence.
However, Totti believes his commitment to The Azzurri should not be questioned.
“At the World Cup I’ve risked myself,” said Totti.
“No-one can doubt the respect I have towards the national team.
“I did this out of thankfulness for coach Marcelo Lippi and that group.”