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The coach remained diplomatic on the topic of 'Er Pupone's' return to the national side...

Roma star Francesco Totti answered his critics once again as he came back from injury to score a hat-trick against Bari in a 3-1 win at the weekend.

There have been calls for the Giallorossi captain to rejoin the Italy national squad, but while Marcello Lippi lauded Totti's achievements against the Galletti, he remained diplomatic over his international chances.

"I'm delighted with Totti's hat-trick, because once again he has succeeded in reacting well to an injury and coming out of it at a great level," Lippi enthused to Il Corriere dello Sport.

"Italy is a country that is in love with football and in love with their own teams, from which they offer the national coach their own preferred champions, from Totti to [Mario] Balotelli, from [Alessandro] Del Piero to [Antonio] Cassano.

"It's right that it's like this, it's the expression of love that Italians have for football," the wily coach smiled.

Anthony Wright, Goal.com

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