Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro has thrown his considerable weight behind the clamour for the inclusion of veteran striker Alessandro Del Piero in the country's Euro 2008 squad.
Del Piero has been left out of the most recent Italy squads by coach Roberto Donadoni but his fine form for Juventus in Serie A has thrust him into the spotlight.
The former golden-boy of Italian football started the season on the bench but forced himself into the Juve starting line-up and is currently joint top goalscorer in Serie A.
And now Cannavaro, who plays for Real Madrid, is convinced his former Juve team-mate should be picked for the June showpiece event in Austria and Switzerland.
“Del Piero has had an exceptional season. He's done what he needed to do to be picked,” Cannavaro told the Chi magazine in an article that will be published on Thursday.
However, the centre-back did not have such good news for another in-form player who many want to be reinstated into the national set-up: Antonio Cassano.
Currently on loan at Sampdoria, Cassano is actually a team-mate of Cannavaro's at Real but that doesn't seem to have helped his cause.
“He's playing well but unfortunately he has several problems with his temperament.
“He's not a kid any more. He has to be careful or he'll lose his credibility.”
Cassano has had a great season with Sampdoria but he also let himself down back in March when he was banned for five matches for threatening and insulting a referee who sent him off.
He also threw his shirt at the official and although he apologised afterwards, it was too little, too late as even Donadoni claimed it was the kind of incident that could cost him his place in the squad.
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