Del Piero targets World Cup

Veteran forward sets his sights on South Africa

Del Piero: In contention

Alessandro Del Piero is still optimistic regarding his chances of making Italy's World Cup squad.

The 35-year-old forward was part of the Azzurri side that secured global glory four years ago.

He hopes he will be awarded an opportunity to help defend that crown in South Africa this summer, despite having not featured for his country since Euro 2008.

However, with Marcello Lippi - the winning coach from 2006 - back in charge, the Juve legend is confident the door has not been closed on his international ambitions.

He is hoping a Europa League date with Fulham on Thursday will provide him with another opportunity to prove his worth, with places still up for grabs in Italy's 23-man squad.

"I'm still very hopeful of making the squad," said Del Piero.

"I know that Lippi has not chosen the squad yet so there are still chances for me.

"I'm really hopeful about it and I believe that a match like tomorrow gives me a good chance of trying to achieve that."

Future

Juve boss Alberto Zaccheroni has already revealed that he will field a weakened side at Craven Cottage in midweek, with the Italians heading to London with a 3-1 advantage from the first leg of their last-16 encounter.

Securing UEFA Champions League qualification is also the priority for the Serie A giants, so they will be taking no chances.

Zaccheroni is, however, wary of asking too much from his fringe players and admits he may resist the urge to hand a senior debut to 20-year-old keeper Carlo Pinsoglio.

"You know him better than I do," he told reporters.

"I have never seen him playing in Serie A and I have never seen him in the youth team.

"All I have seen of him has been in training but from what I have seen of him he will have a bright future."