World Cup

Pirlo to quit Italy after 2014 World Cup

Andrea Pirlo
Pirlo has won 97 caps in an Italy career highlighted by winning the 2006 World Cup.
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Juventus playmaker Andrea Pirlo says he will quit the Italian national team after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Pirlo is set to play an integral part of the Azzurri's hopes in Brazil, when he will be 35, but believes the time will then be right to move on.

"In 2014 I will stop with the national team, I think the World Cup will be the last appointment with the blue shirt," he was reported as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport. "You have to leave room for the young."

Pirlo has won 97 caps in an Italy career highlighted by winning the 2006 World Cup.

While he has put a timeframe on his international career he said that he would likely continue on in domestic football. He is on the brink of securing back-to-back Serie A titles with Juventus and admitted his desire to continue a senior career that began at Brescia in 1995 still remained strong.

"At club level I will continue on as long as I have passion and I feel important," he said. "Otherwise I'll be the first to get me out."

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Juve can wrap up the Scudetto at home to relegation-threatened Palermo on Sunday when a point in Turin will be enough to spark the celebrations.

The Juventus Stadium is already sold out in anticipation of a title party but Pirlo is not ready to talk about any such plans.

"We have to get the point and then we can talk about the Scudetto," he said. "Believe us, we want to end the season on Sunday. It will be the title of continuity. The group has done something important last year and this year we have repeated that, which is never easy."

The Associated Press was used in this report.

 



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