Azzurri Want Nesta To Return

Italy coach Roberto Donadoni is hoping he can persuade AC Milan defender Alessandro Nesta not to give up on the national team.

The 31-year-old, along with Roma captain Francesco Totti, has opted against playing for the Azzurri since last summer.

Nesta was a member of Italy’s World Cup-winning squad, but was injured during the group stages and has played no further part in the national team since then.

His replacement, Marco Materazzi of Internazionale, proved a key figure in the Azzurri’s success in Germany and has since become a regular starter for Italy.

“I hope that Nesta’s decision is a temporary one,” said Donadoni. “I try to be optimistic although it appears to be a definite decision.

“I don’t interpret it as a refusal towards the national team.

“Whoever joins us must be fit, convinced and motivated. I believe that it would be pointless for the Federation to intervene on this matter.

“I have spoken to both Nesta and Totti and I have accepted their reasons.

“I look to the present and future, thinking about the players that are here and happy to be here.

“When I was a player for me the Azzurri colours was the biggest ambition of all and it really burned me when I wasn’t included.”

With former Fiorentina striker Luca Toni out of action with a foot injury, Totti’s absence is particularly painful for the Azzurri.

Totti finished the season as Serie A’s top scorer with 6 goals.

The consolation for Donadoni is that AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi is available to play in the upcoming Euro 2008 qualifiers against the Faroe Islands on Saturday and Lithuania four days later.

Inzaghi missed the clash against Scotland two months ago through injury, but has joined the Azzurri in training at their headquarters in Coverciano, Florence, in inspired form after last week’s heroics against Liverpool in the Champions League final.


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  • wolfen

    regardless of what nationality,they are two great players, not seeing them in the next world cup would only hurt the fans,Totti is very gifted and Nesta is one of the best defenders in the world.

  • Ghost Rider

    Well said.

  • Dave

    Dang! Italy could hardly beat the Faroe Islands’ this weekend. Faroe Islands’? They have a national soccer team? Pretty funny stuff! What’s weird is the Faroe Islands’ drew even before the Italians netted a second goal. Dang! Almost as lame as the England/Brazil game!

  • jarred

    azzurri is the best in the world why dosent he come bak nesta was my favorite player on italia

  • Tesoro

    The coach has the right perspective respect the players rights & wishes and hope for a change of heart. If not Italy is a football rich country fond the next Nesta & Totti don’t continually retread your stars. France has made that mistake the last 2 World Cups and the effect is showing.

  • Rec. League Master

    They could barely beat the faroe Islands and you guys slam the u.s.

  • giova * * * *

    we won the wc jerk