Totti says ready for Italy opener

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:34 IST

Francesco Totti said he was ready to start Italy's World Cup opener, little more than three months after surgery on his left leg.

Totti says ready for Italy opener

Duisburg:

Francesco Totti said he was ready to start Italy's World Cup opener, little more than three months after surgery on his left leg. "I want to play just like any other player, but it's up to the coach to decide. If (coach Marcello) Lippi selects me, I'll be ready,'' he said on Friday after playing the second half of a 5-1 victory over a local under-19 squad. Italy opens against Ghana on Monday. Totti's only shot sailed high over the crossbar but the playmaker moved better than he did in two friendlies in Switzerland last week. "He looked livelier tonight than in any of our other recent games. Totti is steadily regaining his confidence," said coach Marcello Lippi. Totti has played only one entire match since his injury, the 1-1 draw against Switzerland. He played the final 30 minutes against Ukraine a week ago and appeared in only parts of AS Roma's last two matches of the season. "I feel I'm at 70 percent. The more I play, the more I improve,'' Totti said. Totti's cause could be helped by the fact that Alessandro Del Piero, Lippi's top choice to replace him, again performed below par, losing the ball on several occasions. (AP)

Topics : Football France Mexico South Africa Republic of Ireland Federation Internationale de Football Association
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