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Ryan Ross On May - 13 - 2010

Has Lippi Scored An Own Goal With No Totti?

So the top boss, Marcelo Lippi, has named his provisional squad for this summer’s World Cup in South Africa. The usual suspects have been named in it, but there is controversy over the exclusion of a few players, chief amongst them Roma captain, Francesco Totti.

Lippi had previously let it be known that he would meet with Totti after he returned from a knee injury sustained earlier this season and they would assess the potential for the star player to return to the national fold this summer. This meeting had gone well and Lippi did indeed request Totti to go to South Africa, a decision which the player agreed to; so far so good.

Then the Coppa Italia final occured and things became awry. Roma were facing their bitter rivals Internazionale at the Stadio Olimpico challenging for a trophy which had taken on even more significance for these teams this season due to their increasing rivalry; this was a grudgematch, not a football match. And so Totti rose to the occasion, kicking one Mario Balotelli and in doing so, getting himself sent off and costing himself a place in Lippi’s World Cup squad. To make matters worse, Totti also appeared to kick Balotelli in the head immediately after.

So why is Lippi to blame for not calling up Totti given the latter’s actions? Well because quite simply, this Italian squad lacks flair. There is no player in it who can do the spectacular; no-one who can produce a piece of magic to clinch a game; no-one who can inspire his team mates to the next level by using a piece of trickery to stun his opponent. Totti is the man who could have done this; he is the man who could have led Italy to triumph this summer. Lippi will argue that Totti’s temper has cost Italy on too many occasions before; but aren’t all the great players flawed? Zidane’s headbutt? Maradona’s numerous discrepancies? Totti may have a temper, but he can offer so much more, it’s worth taking a gamble.

Totti’s scoring record and overall performances for Roma this season have shown he is in top form. He’s been injured and come back to make an immediate impact. He’s spearheaded the Gialorossi’s tital challenge, scoring 25 goals in 30 appearances in all competitions. Even if Totti didn’t start a match, he could come off the bench and change the game; Lippi really has made a mistake here.

So why has Lippi resisted calls for a further 2 players to be included? Antonio Cassano hasn’t been called up for similar reasons to Totti; Fabrizio Miccoli hasn’t been considered because he testified against Lippi’s son during the Calciopoli trials of 2006. All this points to the fact Lippi has become too stubborn for his own good; it’s possible to make a consistent arguement that he’s hindering Italy’s chances this summer.

But then again, he did lead the nation to glory in 2006, so maybe, just maybe Lippi can prove me wrong and Italy will be successful this summer without the flair players many think they need.

Ryan Ross

I became enthralled with Calcio back in the 90’s, when James Richardson presented Football Italia. My early mornings were spent following the trials and tribulations of Internazionale, during a period where they always flattered to deceive. It took a Frenchman to get me hooked though; Youri Djorkaeff, my favourite player of all time. This guy was key to Inter’s midfield, never mind his role in France’s World Cup win in 1998! I have a keen interest in Calcio’s rich history.

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6 Responses so far.

  1. Simon Heptinstall says:

    He is too stubborn. But even if Totti is picked Italy still wouldnt get that far with the rest of the squad he has picked. If only Sven was in charge

  2. Andy says:

    i disagree in terms of the lack of flair considering that Italy could be going to south africa with the likes of Marchisio, Candreva and perhaps cossu, its certainly more than what Italy took to Germany four years ago. By not calling Totti, considering his reputation to behave badly, i.e. the spit on christian poulsen and the kick to mario balotelli, would have only brought up more questions as to why Totti gets to go to the world cup and not Cassano and Balotelli if behavioural problems is not the issue. P.S. you can reference my input on miccoli as i explained why he wasn't favoured by Lippi :P

  3. Vince S says:

    Lippi is a stubborn mule who is leading us down the 1986 role all over again

  4. Anonymous says:

    Miccoli is out for 4 months so what he done?

  5. Patrick says:

    Totti being 33 is the only reason, logically, for excluding him for the WC. Perhaps, Francesco has stated privately that he will not be a supporting role, start me or nothing?

  6. Ryan Ross says:

    Totti has said he was willing to go to South Africa this summer and that he wanted to play…Lippi has to carry the blame.

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