MLS move has damaged my international chances, says Pirlo
Andrea Pirlo believes playing in MLS could be partially to blame if he misses out on Italy’s final Euro 2016 roster.
The World Cup-winning playmaker won the last of his 116 caps in September’s 1-0 win against Bulgaria in qualification for the upcoming tournament. He was left out of Antonio Conte’s 28-man training camp this week due to club commitments.
And Pirlo feels that his move to New York City FC has damaged his chances of representing Italy at an eighth international finals – although he has no regrets about crossing the Atlantic.
"When someone decides to come to the U.S., he knows what he’s getting into. I reflected on this and I knew what the risks were," the 37-year-old told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"It’s clear that anyone who plays in Belgium or another league with less quality still has a chance of making the Champions League or the Europa League. And that’s what makes the difference."
Nevertheless, Pirlo has not given up hope of making Conte’s final 23-man squad as players from clubs such as Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United have all not yet joined up with the national team due to domestic commitments this weekend.
"Conte has still not named the final squad. The players who are still playing in official games have not been called up. Sebastian [Giovinco, of Toronto FC] and I talked to Conte about the decision. It’s still possible."
Despite potentially missing out on the European Championship, Pirlo is enjoying his time in the Big Apple, where his New York teammates include David Villa and Frank Lampard.
"It is a pleasure to be with guys as awesome as my current teammates, helping them grow in training and giving them advice during games," he added.