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Prandelli backs Totti and Balotelli for Italy

SoccerNews in Serie A 28 Sep 2010

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Italy coach Cesare Prandelli offered AS Roma veteran Francesco Totti an international carrot by admitting Tuesday he is considering giving the 34-year-old a recall.

And Prandelli also admitted he is desperate to bring back injured Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli.

Totti, who turned 34 on Monday, announced his international retirement following Italy’s World Cup success in Germany in 2006.

But following the azzurri’s quarter-final exit at the European Championships two years later, the Roma darling made it clear he would be amenable to a return to the international set-up.

The then-coach Marcello Lippi overlooked him but Prandelli seems determined to bring him back into the fold.

“We’re looking for quality and Totti has proved over time to have technical quality and also great character,” said Prandelli who wants to pair Totti with his former Roma team-mate Antonio Cassano.

“The idea of seeing Totti and Cassano together in the national team is a particular desire, we’re talking about friendship, a relationship that exists between them.

“We wanted to create an occasion which would be an example for kids who would want to watch the match.

“I said it would be great for two friends to rediscover each other on the pitch.”

Totti and Cassano played together at Roma from 2001-05 but Cassano frequently clashed with his coaches and his senior team-mate.

Even so, both have since claimed they are friends.

Another player Prandelli wants to see back in his squad is 20-year-old Balotelli.

“I miss him because I really want to try out an attack with players of his intellectual capacity,” added Prandelli.

“He made a good impression with the national team and I only hope he recovers from injury as best as he can.”

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