Alessandro Del Piero remains hopeful that he can play a key role for Italy at the World Cup.
Juventus' mercurial playmaker has recaptured some of his best form this season and will almost certainly have a role to play at some stage for the Azzurri in Germany.
Del Piero's chances of starting for his country appear to have been heightened by an unfortunate but serious injury sustained by Roma captain Francesco Totti.
The capital-born schemer, who would be vying for the same creative spot as Del Piero, is now a major doubt for the finals but his Juve counterpart does not believe his own chances of playing are related to Totti.
''I've always joined the World Cup as an influential player,'' said Del Piero.
''Now I feel good and hope to keep a good condition for Germany. The best way to arrive at that tournament is with a (Serie A) win with Juve because winning breeds winning.
''Italy must not start with the idea of the final but just be attentive and not complicate our life - we must do it one step at a time.
''My own role on the pitch does not depend on Francesco's presence or absence.
''I only aim to arrive at the World Cup fit and maybe improve it. I must only think to play in a good way.
''Totti is a champion and we are waiting for him.''