Under-fire Italy coach Roberto Donadoni is hoping to persuade Francesco Totti to make a return to the Azzurri line-up.
Before the World CupTotti had said it was “90 percent” sure that he would quit the national team but he later admitted that he would probably return in 2007.
After Wednesday’s 3-1 defeat to France the world champions have collected just a point from their two opening Euro 2008 Group B qualifiers, and the Donadoni is looking for Totti as a potential saviour.
“What Totti actually told me was a little different (to the reports); he said that we would talk on each occasion and now I am going to call him along with all the others,” Donadoni said.
The other World Cup players who have been absent from Donadoni’s squad are strikers Luca Toni, Vincenzo Iaquinta and Alessandro Del Piero.
“It is not just about Totti, I want our champions back and I hope to have them for October,” said the Italy coach.
Donadoni decided not to call up the trio because of concerns about their fitness.
However, after the poor start, some commentators are already questioning the appointment of the former Milan winger.
“How to reduce Lippi’s masterwork to pieces in just three weeks,” was the headline on an editorial in the daily La Nazione.
“They say that the Federation asked Lippi to come back as ‘supervisor’ of the national team. That is another error. Lippi should come back as national team coach,” said the paper. “Without him, Italy is in the dark.”