NEWS
Sunday February 23 2014
Pirlo commits to Juve, not Italy

Andrea Pirlo is planning a Juventus renewal, shrugging off Real Madrid and Milan, but will quit Italy after the World Cup.

The midfielder will be in action today at 17.30 GMT in the Derby della Mole, click here for a match preview.

“Torino are a well-organised side who play good football and score many goals with Ciro Immobile and Alessio Cerci,” Pirlo told La Stampa newspaper.

“They have already secured safety, unlike previous seasons when they’d play us with a sense of fear. Now they know a victory over Juve would add something extra to the campaign, whereas for us it would be a slip-up in the Scudetto race.

“We are aware the title depends only on us, because we have an advantage, but Roma play well and it’ll be a fight to the end. Therefore, we cannot drop points along the way.”

Pirlo was a free agent at the end of 10 years at Milan when he joined Juventus, but his contract is due to expire in June.

There have been many reports of a potential switch this summer to reunite with Ancelotti at Real Madrid or even a return to the Rossoneri under old teammate Clarence Seedorf.

“I just want to be a protagonist, as long as I feel up to it, which I hope is as long as possible. I’ve talked to Juve and we’ll meet up to define the details, but there are so many games at the moment, so it’s better to focus on them.

“There are all the conditions needed for me to stay: Juve are growing and we can achieve great objectives. President Andrea Agnelli always left the door open for anything I needed, from day one, so I thank him.

“Real Madrid? I never spoke to them. As always, I talk to Ancelotti, but not about football or transfers. Silvio Berlusconi also called me, but I won’t return to Milan.”

Pirlo wants to continue at club level, but will hang up his Italy jersey after the 2014 World Cup.

“I will be 35 years old, so it’s only right to let others grow into their roles. Of course, if I am needed, then it’s not a problem. As soon as I realise that I am no longer able to do certain things, I’ll be the first to step aside. I don’t want anyone simply putting up with me.”

There was controversy last week between Antonio Conte and Fabio Capello, so how did Pirlo view the two Juve outfits?

“Capello’s Juve were very successful. Perhaps not the most spectacular team, but they were ruthless, like all Capello’s sides. They know what they want and in the end they get it.

“Conte’s Juventus are different, based on the collective and well-organised, achieving great results with good football. We enjoy our football on the pitch.”

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