Lippi offers Toni boost

Italian coach says door is open for striker return

Toni: World Cup target

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Italy coach Marcello Lippi says he would welcome Luca Toni back to the national squad.

Toni made his first appearance for Roma in Saturday's 1-0 win over Chievo having completed a loan switch from Bayern Munich.

The 32-year-old striker elected to return to Serie A hoping to enhance his chances of featuring in the World Cup having fallen out of favour at the Allianz Arena.

Impressed by his performance at the weekend, Lippi says the door is open for Toni to return to the national fold.

Welcome

"I saw a great performance by Toni," said Lippi.

"I was very impressed considering he had not played for several months."

Toni was dropped from the national squad after the Confederations Cup last summer due to lack of match fitness.

The 2006 World Cup winner is now said to be desperate to earn his place amongst his fellow countrymen for this summer's tournament in South Africa.

Looking good

"It would be wonderful to be able to take 35 players to the World Cup," said Lippi.

"But you cannot do that. We need to remember that only 23 players can go."

He added: "I follow all games. I am monitoring everything.

"I am very happy and convinced that there will be over 30 players able to do well from here until the end of the season."