Pirlo announces international retirement after World Cup

Andrea Pirlo will retire from international duty after the World Cup.

Italy star Andrea Pirlo has admitted he is likely to retire from international football after the World Cup.

The Juventus playmaker, 35, believes bowing out in Brazil will be the perfect end to his international career.

Pirlo, who won the World Cup with Italy in 2006, feels the time is right to let some younger players come through into the Azzurri fold.

“As I already said, I am still thinking of retiring after this World Cup, as I have a certain age and it’s only right to leave the field to the next generation coming through," said Pirlo. "It would be pointless to continue."

However, Pirlo has refused to close the door on possibly playing on for Italy if he is needed by his country.

BREAKING THE BANK

“If I am needed, then there’s no problem in coming back," added Pirlo. 

"If I come on international duty and don’t play, then I’d get angry! It’s perhaps better I stay home…”

Pirlo believes Italy are good enough to go all the way in Brazil despite being handed a tough group containing England, Uruguay and Costa Rica

“Can Italy win the World Cup? Of course. When I play, it is solely to win," he said. "I am never just content with getting through the round. We have a competitive squad and will give our all to achieve this objective.

“We have what it takes to go far. The important thing is to believe, sacrifice ourselves, work hard and the results can arrive.”