Stars put aside friendship for big match

ROME -- Italy's two great number tens come
face to face on Sunday evening when Roma and Juventus clash at
the Stadio Olimpico.

Francesco Totti, Roma's captain, admitted on Friday that he
is friends with Juventus forward Alessandro Del Piero as the two
prepare for what could be a Serie A title decider.

"It shouldn't be seen as a game between Totti and Del Piero,
nor should it be seen as a decisive game," Totti was quoted as
saying in Friday's Gazzetta Dello Sport.

"We have a great rapport, joking a lot in the national team,
a typical friendship in the world of sport.

"I'd like to win the championship and then I'd let him score
the goal that wins the World Cup."

Del Piero, whose form this season has shot him back into the
limelight after two seasons of disappointment, agreed.

"There is great rivalry between us on a personal level, not
only for our clubs, but it is always clean and vigorous," said
Del Piero.

Champions Roma leads Juventus and Inter Milan by one point
and victory will mean more than just three points according to
Del Piero.

"You can't escape the fact that this game is different. Both
teams have great ambitions, are the top two in the championship
and that doesn't include the tension, the tradition, the
rivalry," he said.

"We're in good form but we know we will have to be at more
than our best to win.

"Psychologically the result will be important and to win in
Rome would be a great boost."