Totti may still have Italy future, hints Buffon

The Juventus goalkeeper has added his weight behind growing support for the Roma forward to be recalled to the international fold
Gianluigi Buffon believes Francesco Totti could still have an international future with Italy.

The Roma forward, who has 58 caps to his name, retired from Azzurri duty after their World Cup triumph in 2006, but boss Cesare Prandelli admitted on Monday that the door would be open for him to return.

And his former team-mate, Buffon, has issued a glowing appraisal of the 36-year-old and says he is still more than capable of playing for Italy once again.

"You cannot rule anything out with a player who can win matches by himself. He continues to write history in Italian football and not only has a past. He may still have a future as he is showing," he said at a press conference.

"When he made the decision to leave the Azzurri in 2006, Francesco thought long and hard. After winning the World Cup, which is the most beautiful thing in football, he preferred to devote himself to Roma and his health as he was nursing a long-term injury.

"I am still a little sorry that he left us, seven years on [since his retirement from international football]. What would I say if I wanted him to return to the national team? They are intimate things, he knows what I'd say.

"The dressing room, in regards to the decisions of a coach, does not have any power. They are the specific responsibilities of those who lead the team.

"When I talk about a man like Francesco, I still speak of him as if he were one of us. With some of us, myself included, we were with Totti in the Italy set-up from the age of 15, so he will always be one of my fellow national-teamers."

Buffon then reflected on the call-ups handed to new boys Mattia De Sciglio and Alessio Cerci for Thursday's friendly clash with Brazil, the goalscoring form of Mario Balotelli since his move to AC Milan and the large Rossoneri and Juventus presence in the squad.

"It's too early to make judgments on the new faces, but there is hope for the future. That was a problem which we paid for in the past, but it seems to have been resolved now," the Juventus No.1 added.

"We all hope that he reaches his full potential, but that does not mean that he has to stifle his own nature. He has always been quiet on Italy duty. The only thing that was missing from his game was consistency.

"Now he is finding that and I hope that his move to Milan gives the national team the joys that we expect from him.

"Milan have always relied on an Italian nucleus, and even their attempts to refresh the squad are Italian-based.

"It seems logical to me that these two teams [Milan and Juventus] give the most players to the national team."