Andrea Pirlo is already looking ahead to the Juventus “Champions League dream” next season and confirms he’ll quit Italy after the 2014 World Cup.
The midfielder was speaking at the presentation of his new autobiography, ‘I think, therefore I play.’ He wrote in the book that he will hang up his Azzurri boots after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, at which point he’ll be 35 years old.
“We have to leave space for the youngsters to come through. At club level I will continue playing as long as I feel the desire, passion and the sense I am still important to the team. If any of those elements are missing, I’ll be the first to step back,” said Pirlo.
He is set to celebrate his second consecutive Scudetto with Juventus, as they need only one point to mathematically clinch the title.
“We want to win the campaign on Sunday against Palermo, but first we have to get that point. It will be the Scudetto of consistency, as the squad did something extraordinary last year and it is never easy to confirm yourself at that level.
“It wasn’t a surprise for me, though. We put so much hunger and hard work into our daily schedule, so that sacrifice was to reach this great objective.”
Juve went out of the Champions League quarter-final 4-0 on aggregate against Bayern Munich, who thrashed Barcelona 7-0 on aggregate in the semi-final.
“Europe was a dream this season and a novelty for many of the Juve players. We did pretty well and can be satisfied,” added Pirlo, who won the trophy at Milan.
“When we faced Bayern Munich it was clear how strong they were. They are the best team in Europe now, without a doubt, and I am sure they’ll go all the way.
“As for us, it is a dream to win the Champions League with Juventus, hopefully even from next season.”
When Pirlo does hang up his boots for good, he has hinted that he could go into management, inspired by Antonio Conte.
“He has given me so much on a tactical level and really surprised me. If one day I become a Coach, I will take Conte as my inspiration. I am not the right age, nor do I have the right desire, to do that now, so I am focused only on playing.
“Could I become the future Juve Coach? No, Conte’s there...”