Trap has eyes on new faces
By Lorenzo Zacchetti
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
With just over two months to the start of 2004, the majority of the Azzurri chief's plans have been set in stone.
However, Trapattoni has confirmed a number of lesser known faces have impressed him in Serie A this term.
Parma striker Gilardino (pictured) and Brescia midfielder Mauri have been offered a glimmer of hope for the summer.
"Looking at what has been happening on the pitch in the last few months, I have to say there are a few boys who we are following with great interest and who could have a future in the national team," said Trapattoni.
"Alberto Gilardino is doing great at Parma and there are also youngsters who could prove extremely useful in the future, like Stefano Mauri of Brescia."
Antonio Cassano has long been hailed as the future of Italian football and the Roma star has impressed Trapattoni recently.
"I am aware young players like him need to develop," said Trapattoni. "But I have to say his performances with the giallorossi have been interesting.
"He and Francesco Totti are doing extraordinary things for Roma. Totti is a champion, but Cassano is fast reaching a similar level.
"I hope that he continues to progress in this way, so that he will be the best addition to our squad in Portugal."
Andrea Pirlo has been performing at a high level for Milan, operating in a playmaker role in midfield, and he has clearly impressed Trapattoni.
"Pirlo is performing at a high level and I certainly have him in my mind," said Trapattoni.
"The last time he played for the national team he came in for Totti and played behind the two strikers, like he did in the first years of his career.
"I think that playing in front of the defence has improved him on a tactical point of view, but he must not forget the skills he acquired in the previous seasons."