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Last hurrah for Italy's golden boy?

Sunday's World Cup final could be the last chance for Francesco Totti to show the planet his genuine worth.

india Updated: Jul 07, 2006 17:26 IST

Italy's golden boy Francesco Totti has flattered to deceive on the international stage, and Sunday's World Cup final could be his last chance to show the planet he really is the genuine article.

According to Italy coach Marcello Lippi, the Roma captain is almost certain to call time on his Azzurri career after the Berlin showpiece against France.

"As far as I'm aware it's 90 per cent he will quit," Lippi said on Wednesday.

"However, you always have to wait to find out what is going through people's hearts and minds before commenting," he added, suggesting there is a small chance Totti will continue.

The 29-year-old striker broke his left ankle in February and spent three months on the sidelines, raising doubts that he would be fit in time to travel to Germany.

But days of intense workouts in the gym and at Roma's Trigoria training ground convinced Lippi to name Totti in his 23-man squad.

The talismanic Roman struggled for fitness in the early matches of the tournament and his sluggish performances were heavily criticised by the vulturous Italian media.

He was sensationally dropped by Lippi for the second round match against Australia, but came off the bench to score the winning penalty in the fifth minute of stoppage time.