Cesare Prandelli has admitted he will consider Francesco Totti for his FIFA World Cup Italy squad if he maintains his early-season form.
The Roma captain has inspired his side to seven wins in their opening seven Serie A matches and they sit top of the table, two points from Napoli.
Totti struck the 300th goal of his career in their 3-0 victory over Inter on Saturday – his 230th in Serie A – to take his tally to the season to three, while he has also laid on six assists.
Prandelli – who is preparing his squad for World Cup qualifiers with Denmark and Armenia – acknowledged the form of the 37-year-old and insisted he would have no problems selecting him for next year's tournament.
"Players with great talent like Francesco (Totti), like Parma’s Antonio Cassano, are always under observation," he said.
"We'll evaluate Totti a month before the World Cup. But a Totti like this is a player to talk about, to reflect upon, it is a fantastic Totti.
"If the World Cup was today then I would absolutely call him up, there is no doubt about that.
"I haven’t spoken to him about it, there is no need eight months before the event."
Prandelli also explained the reasoning behind the selection of Mario Balotelli for the matches despite his recent suspension.
Balotelli has been serving a domestic ban for confronting a referee following Milan's defeat to Napoli, but Prandelli, who has a policy of not selecting players while banned at club level, insisted he did not feel the need to add further punishment by leaving him out of the squad.
"I can’t add another punishment to a punishment," he continued. "Had there not been a midweek round of league games then Balotelli would not be here.
"His three-match ban expired today, after yesterday's Juventus - Milan, so that is why he has been selected.
"I have never called up a suspended player before. The rules are clear, I don’t see the need for controversies."
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