Roberto Donadoni insists that he hasn’t shut out Francesco Totti and Alessandro Nesta, but veteran boss Carlo Mazzone remains cynical.
Italy secured their place at Euro 2008 with a dramatic win over Scotland on Saturday and Coach Donadoni breathed an enormous sigh of relief.
The ex-Livorno tactician pinned his hopes on a new-look side without Totti and Nesta, but he is adamant that he never closed the door on either star.
“I did everything possible,” Donadoni told Radio Radio TV.
“How can I force them to return to the national side if they aren’t motivated? It would be counterproductive.
“If they change their minds I would listen to them, but certain choices deserve to be respected.”
However, Mazzone believes that Donadoni wouldn’t pick Totti for the wrong reasons and hit out at the Press’ role in Er Pupone’s retirement from international football.
“What do I think when people say that Donadoni wouldn’t call up Totti because he owes something to the new group? When I hear these things it makes me shiver as the Coach’s job is to rise above and always make the right choice for his squad,” the outspoken Roman told Radio Kiss Kiss Naples.
“Totti was forced to quit the Azzurri as he was mortified by the Press. The boss wanted him at the World Cup and he played a crucial role, even though he wasn’t at 100 per cent, but the media were very harsh.”