Totti out for Italy

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ITALY coach Giovanni Trapattoni has officially announced that Francesco Totti will miss the Euro 2004 qualifier against Serbia & Montenegro on Wednesday through injury.

The Roma forward missed the 4-0 win over Wales in Milan on Saturday and his hip injury has now ruled him out of the clash in Belgrade where Italy can ensure qualification with victory if Wales fail to beat Finland.

Azzurri coach Trapattoni insisted that Totti was still part of his plans, but he could give no guarantees of a place for the forward in his side with his fitness in doubt.

"We still wait for him to return to this group," affirmed Trapattoni. "Please don't start saying this team has given up on Totti, because we haven't.

"I've just spoken with him. He's working hard, but he is still in pain.

"So we agreed that he wouldn't come. He was ready to come - but we decided to let him rest.

"I couldn't give him guarantees and he couldn't give them to me.

"In these conditions, it was absurd to ask him to travel. I don't want to ruin his chances of recovery."

More bad news for Italy fell in the shape of Milan midfielder Massimo Ambrosini who walked out of the Italian camp after failing to feature in the Wales drubbing and would probably have only made the bench for the Serbia game.