Andrea Pirlo announces he is set to retire from International football
By Owen McMahon
Italy and Juventus playmaker Andrea Pirlo has announced he will retire from International football after playing for Italy in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The 33 year old is still a vital player for both club and country, but feels his time is up come the summer of 2014.
"In 2014 I will stop with the national team, I think the world cup will be the last appointment with the blue shirt." Pirlo announced.
He has already achieved 97 caps for his national team, in a successful career, highlighted by the 2006 World Cup win in Germany. He has also had a very successful career in domestic football, and has announced he plans to carry on playing for Italian side Juventus.
He is on track to secure back to back Serie A titles with the Italian giants, and has recently proved he still has the ability to perform at the top level after his performances in Euro 2012.
In my opinion, Pirlo is one of the classiest central midfield players in the game. He has such a finesse about his play and is an extremely versatile player. He can track back and defend, but he is great on the attack. Not only is he one of the best long passers in the game, his short passing is nothing short of perfection.
Not very often do you see Andrea Pirlo have an off-game. For me, the most memorable moment would be his penalty to knock England out of the 2012 Euros. The confidence in which he stepped up to chip the ball down the middle shows what a class act he is.
As one of the vital parts of Italy's midfield, Pirlo will be missed, and will go down as one of Italy's greats.
Juve can wrap up the title at home to relegation candidates Palermo on Sunday if they achieve a point, however Pirlo is not ready to talk about such celebrations.
"We have to get a point 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."