Nesta said: “I spent three months in Miami for treatment and worked very hard over the past four weeks to get back in shape.
“My fitness levels are holding up well, despite what people may say.
“The important thing for me was not so much the result as returning to the field after such a long lay-off.
“I have to give a special thanks to Lippi, who called me on the phone when the Azzurri went to the President of the Republic to get their honours for the World Cup victory. I could not be there, but he called at that moment to let me hear the speech and tell me that this was for me as well. It meant a lot.”