Francesco Totti has hit out at his critics by stating that no-one can question his commitment to the Italian national side.
The Roma skipper is refusing to play for The Azzurri until 2007 in order to fully shake off an ankle injury at a time when Roberto Donadoni's side are struggling in their Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.
A draw against Lithuania and defeat at the hands of France have intensified the calls for Totti to return to the setup, and certain elements of the Italian press have criticised the playmaker for his refusal to do so.
However, after helping Italy to World Cup glory despite being short of fitness, Totti believes his commitment to The Azzurri is beyond reproach.
"At the World Cup I've risked myself," said Totti.
"No-one can doubt the respect I have towards the national team.
"I did this out of thankfulness for coach Marcelo Lippi and that group."