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€60m striker reveals childhood icon, hopes to see him at World Cup

Radamel Falcao remains hopeful of seeing boyhood idol Francesco Totti in Brazil next summer for the World Cup.

The Colombian, named by his father after an AS Roma legend of the 1980s, recently was in the presence of the iconic forward, who watched former Giallorossi boss Claudio Ranieri’s Monaco beat Rennes 2-0 at the Stade Louis II on November 30.

Totti hasn’t shown for Italy since the final of the 2006 World Cup against France, in which the Azzurri triumphed on penalties following Zinedine Zidane’s infamous headbutt on Marco Materazzi in extra time, officially retiring from international football one year later after remaining inactive in the intervening period.

He opened the door to a call-up for the 2010 edition of the tournament in South Africa but was ultimately left behind by Marcello Lippi as the reigning champions crashed out in the group stage, after which Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon bemoaned the lack of a creative presence such a Totti in the squad.

Now-Italy head coach Cesare Prandelli has admitted that he’s keeping a keen eye on the Roma captain, who only just returned from an injury sustained amidst fine form, suggesting that he’s not opposed to bringing the 37-year-old to South America come June as many observers have clamoured for his inclusion as an impact player off the bench.

“Before his injury, Totti did great things and proved he deserves a call-up,” Prandelli told Sport Mediaset on December 4.

“Then he stopped and is now getting ready for his comeback.

“We’ll see how it goes, as I am keeping Totti under very close observation.”

Azzurri no. 1 Buffon also added his take on the situation, underlining the high level of performance his countryman has maintained despite his advanced age.

“Before the injury he was playing at a stratospheric level and someone like him always makes the difference,” the Juventus goalkeeper said.

“Personally, I would take him to the World Cup.”

And Falcao is the latest to advocate for a business trip to Brazil for the Rome native next summer, further revealing that Totti was a childhood favourite of his.

“I would love to see him at the World Cup in Brazil,” he told Sky Sport on Tuesday.

“Totti is a great player, I have admired him since I was a child.”

For now the question of the Roma talisman’s World Cup status remains unresolved with the remainder of the club season to play, as he only made his first appearance since mid-October on Monday in a 2-2 draw with Milan.

Yet should Totti recapture the stunning form he displayed for the rest of the term, Falcao may just get his wish with Prandelli refusing as of yet to rule out one final push on the international stage for the Stadio Olimpico stalwart.

image: © mmmchoco

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