Totti still in Prandelli's thoughts

Fine form ... Francesco Totti (Getty Images)

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli will try to tempt Francesco Totti out of international retirement if his sensational form continues up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals.

Totti has been instrumental in Roma's remarkable start to the Serie A season. The Giallorossi has won all seven league games so far, including a 3-0 thrashing of Inter Milan at the San Siro last weekend with Totti scoring twice.

The 37-year-old retired from Azzurri duty shortly after helping Italy win the 2006 FIFA World Cup but remains on Prandelli's radar.

The Italy boss said at a press conference: "Totti is in fantastic form. His condition right now does make you reflect.

"If the World Cup was around the corner, I would have no doubts and would absolutely call him up.

"But we will evaluate the player's condition one month prior to the World Cup."

Prandelli, whose side has qualified from Group B with two games to spare, admits he has not spoken to Totti about a possible return.

"I have not spoken with him (Totti)," Prandelli said. "There is no point in doing so eight months before the tournament.

"The priority is to arrive at the World Cup with 22 players that have to be in great condition.

"I believe the athletic form of the players will be crucial for the World Cup."

Prandelli also has high hopes for Giuseppe Rossi, who returned to the Azzurri squad announced after a two-year spell on the sidelines due to successive anterior cruciate ligament injuries.

The Fiorentina striker is now fully fit and has scored five goals in seven league games for the Viola.

The 26-year-old could feature in Italy's FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Denmark and Armenia over the coming eight days.

"He is a player that has gone through two difficult years and is returning to play at a very high level," Prandelli said. "I have called him up because I want to make him feel part of this group.

"We will evaluate his physical condition before deciding to use him. We will not take any unnecessary risks."

Mario Balotelli is expected to start against Denmark and Armenia despite the AC Milan striker having missed his team's last three Serie A games through suspension.

Balotelli was punished last month by the Italian Football League for insulting and intimidating a referee.

"I have never called up a player who was serving a ban," Prandelli said. "In the case of Balotelli, he has completed his punishment, which was a serious one."

Prandelli expects the 23-year-old to improve his behaviour, knuckle down and prove he deserves a place in Brazil next northern summer.

"I will not give him an ultimatum," Prandelli said. "I prefer to look at him in the eyes and tell him that I still believe in him.

"It will be in the changing room that we will look at each other face to face and make a pact for the World Cup.

"Certain things from now on cannot happen again.

"We have six or seven months to prove that we are ready and matured to withstand the pressure that goes with a World Cup."

Italy takes on Denmark in Copenhagen on Friday evening (Saturday morning AEDT) before hosting Armenia in Palermo four days later.

Prandelli's side remains unbeaten in Group B and is seven points clear of nearest rival Bulgaria.