Lippi gives Vieri hope
By Nadia Carminati
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Italy coach Marcello Lippi is not ruling Christian Vieri out of his World Cup squad.
Italy coach Marcello Lippi will give Christian Vieri every chance to make his squad for the World Cup.
Vieri is struggling for fitness after sustaining a knee injury and is rated as very doubtful for the finals in Germany.
Lippi is refusing to rule out the former Internazionale star out his plans and remains hopeful he will be fit to make the plane to Germany.
"Christian isn't doing too well at the minute and he's still trying to recover," said Lippi.
"We'll continue to follow his progress and I'll only make my final evaluations on May 15. I'm just telling him not to lose hope."
Lippi is also optimistic of having star striker Francesco Totti available for selection.
Totti has only recently returned to training after two months out with a serious ankle problem, but Lippi is pleased with his recovery.
"He's in reasonable shape, we're optimistic," added Lippi. "Now's the time for a real assessment, though."
Lippi was also remaining coy on the chances of Filippo Inzaghi and Antonio Cassano making his party for the finals.
"You will know only on May 15th (his final squad). I have quite clear ideas.
"Inzaghi? Frequently I have been told his goals would make me think and he is therefore here (at Italy's training camp).
Regarding Cassano's chances of featuring Lippi said: "I've already spoken to him."