Francesco Totti has been thrown a World Cup lifeline after being handed the chance to extend his Roma career and keep playing into his 40s.

The Roma skipper officially retired from international duty in 2007 but has continued to look one of the most accomplished attacking midfielders in Serie A.

It has not gone unnoticed by club bosses who have rewarded his form by drawing up a new three-year contract that would keep him in the Italian capital until after his 40th birthday.