Trap closes the door on Divine Ponytail

ROME: Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni has ruled out a call-up for 35-year-old striker Roberto Baggio for next Wednesday’s friendly international against Portugal. 

Injuries to strikers Alessandro Del Piero and Francesco Totti had raised hopes that Baggio might be included in the 22-man squad. 

The Divine Ponytail has been in impressive form recently for Serie A side Brescia prompting Rome-based newspaper Corriere dello Sport to run a campaign to give him a last appearance for the national side. 

At the presentation of Italy’s new kit in Rome on Friday, however, Trapattoni effectively closed the door on Baggio. 

“I have to think to the future,” Trapattoni told reporters. “It seems to be a personal question between him and me, but it isn’t. Remember that it was I who brought him to Juventus. But now the situation is different. If I were Baggio, I’d say: ‘Thanks for the attention, but what’s the point?’” 

Baggio, who scored 27 goals in 55 matches for the national team, was the subject of a similar campaign before last summer’s World Cup. He last played for Italy in a Euro 2000 qualification match in 1999. 

Trapattoni’s decision did not take him by surprise. 

“I’m disappointed, but it’s what I expected,” Baggio said on La Gazzetta dello Sport’s website on Friday. - Reuters 

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