Andrea Pirlo to quit Italy team after 2014 World Cup

Andrea Pirlo played for Italy in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

Juventus playmaker Andrea Pirlo says he will quit the Italian national team after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Pirlo has made 97 appearances for Italy since making his debut against Azerbaijan in 2002, and helped the Azzurri to the 2006 World Cup title.

At the presentation of his autobiography "I think therefore I play'' on Thursday, Pirlo says "we have to leave space for the youngsters to come through.''

Pirlo will be 35 at the end of the World Cup but says he is not thinking about retiring, adding "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, otherwise I'll be the first to step back.''

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.