Juve star staying focussed on Uruguay clash.
Classy Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo has admitted he is not thinking about his international retirement and is fully focussed on beating Uruguay to secure their place in the next round of the World Cup, the Daily Mirror reports.
The 35-year-old is hoping to inspire his country to victory over the South American side and prolong his own career at international level.
A draw would be enough to send Cesare Prandelli’s side through to the next round, but a win for Uruguay could see the Juventus star call a premature end to his illustrious career in an Azzuri shirt.
Having collected 111 caps, he pondered on whether the clash with Uruguay could be his last.
“I hope to win and hope to continue,” said Pirlo, who won the World Cup with Italy in 2006.
“I’ve not started thinking about the rest and I won’t think about this right now, because now my goal is to win and keep going in this tournament.
“I want to continue to wear the jersey, which is the most beautiful thing that can happen to a player.”
Pirlo admitted that the encounter will be just as important as if they were in the semi-final of the tournament, and will require a similar effort to pull through.
“The matches in the World Cup are equally important, and the decisive match even more so,” said Pirlo.
“So this match is comparable to a semi-final or a final and we are either in or we are out.
“So we feel the same tension and enthusiasm as we would in those situations.”
Italy coach Prandelli admitted the game against Uruguay was the biggest of his managerial career.
“This is the most important match in my professional career,” said the Italy coach. “I cannot compare it to any other time.”
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