A few weeks before the Confederations Cup, in which Italy will participate for the first time as World Cup winners, Sampdoria star Antonio Cassano is still hoping for a call up from Italy coach Marcello Lippi.
Ever since Euro 2008, Cassano has been snubbed by the former Juventus tactician despite being possibly in the form of his life, but he hasn't given up hope just yet.
"I would be very happy to go to the Confederations Cup, also as a 23rd man, even as a left-back or right-back," he said to Sky.
"I respect Lippi, I never had problems with him. If he doesn't call me up I won't talk badly about him, if I have something to say to him I will tell him in person."
On Sampdoria's season, he said, "It's been very positive for me and the team. We reached the last 32 of the UEFA Cup, the league went alright and we made it to the Coppa Italia final. I am satisfied about the last couple of seasons, we can't win important things but that's the reality."
Cassano then went on to talk about Inter starlet Mario Balotelli, who is causing controversy over his attitude just like the former Roma star used to do.
"He has great qualities, sometimes I talk to him," he continued. "He reminds me of myself when I was his age. The only thing I told him is to avoid certain gestures when he faces players like Cristiano Ronaldo.
"If he can improve his attitude just a little bit, not too much because he has to maintain his unpredictability, he can become a known player all over the world, not just in Italy."
Asked who he thinks are the best coaches in the world, 'Fantantonio' said, "[Jose] Mourinho, [Alex] Ferguson, and [Fabio] Capello have been the best coaches in the world over the last 10 years. Mourinho is the most exuberant of the three, he likes to be at the center of attention, just like me!"
Danilo Pochini, Goal.com