Italy door still open for Del Piero - Donadoni

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ROME, Nov 20 (Reuters) Italy coach Roberto Donadoni said today that he has not permanently closed the door on Juventus striker Alessandro Del Piero.

Donadoni dropped Del Piero in the latter stages of the Euro 2008 qualification campaign and put his faith in Udinese's Antonio Di Natale, who made a difference with his tricky runs and ability to play on the left.

The coach said he will not make any big changes to the squad that qualified for Euro 2008 with a game to spare after a 2-1 win over Scotland in Glasgow on Saturday.

But he also stressed there is still hope for Del Piero and for 25-year-old forward Antonio Cassano, who is trying to revive his career during a loan stint at Sampdoria after failing to make an impression at Real Madrid.

''It depends on Cassano and Del Piero, on their heads first of all and then on their legs,'' Donadoni told Rai radio.

''My bad luck, if you like, is that I have so many good players at my disposal.'' The former AC Milan and Italy midfielder said four or five places in the squad remain up for grabs.

''The lads know my way of reasoning by now,'' he told a news conference later on Tuesday. ''It's a question of keeping motivation high.'' With Euro 2008 qualification in the bag, Donadoni confirmed that he will rotate his squad for Wednesday's Group B game at home to the Faroe Islands.

''It would be stupid to approach this game lightly, which is why I'll only field motivated people and assess who is up to playing two consecutive games in such a short period, while trying to make room for those who have played less,'' he said.

The Azzurri coach betrayed some nerves about the group Italy will be handed in the draw for June's finals in Austria and Switzerland.

''We could be very unlucky and get a really hard group,'' he said. ''With France (probably) in seedings pot four, you can see that luck will play a big role.'' REUTERS SSC BST0018

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