Italy can repeat 2006 glory, says Pirlo
Rio di Janeiro: Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo is hoping to end his international career by winning a second World Cup and believes the Azzurri are capable of repeating their success from 2006.
“We can win the World Cup. I always play to win and I won’t be satisfied by just getting out of the group stage or into the quarter-finals. This Italy team has everything it need to go all the way,” Pirlo told reporters on Wednesday.
Italy start their campaign against England in Manaus on Saturday and the classy and creative Pirlo has been impressed by what he has seen of Roy Hodgson’s team.
Pirlo’s cool chipped spot-kick helped Italy beat England on penalties after a goalless draw in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 but the midfielder knows they will be up against a very different team.
“England have improved a lot, they have rejuvenated their squad with young players who can cover a lot of ground. We have a very different style of play but we have a good record against them,” he said.
With Paris St Germain midfielder Marco Verratti, dubbed by some as the ‘next Pirlo’, back in full training there has been speculation that Italy coach Cesare Prandelli may select both playmakers.
“That is no problem. If you know how to play football you can play alongside anyone. We have tried out a new look with one midfielder playing deep in front of the defence and two free playmakers to create and it is one that I like and that could bring results,” he said.
Pirlo has enjoyed most of his success prompting from a deeper role but he would be comfortable returning to a more advanced position in the midfield.
“It is not exactly the role I played when I was young, it is different, the midfielders rotate with a lot more movement to make it trickier for the opposition. But the important thing is to play well – there are lots of different solutions,” he said.
The Juventus midfielder, who recently signed a new two-year deal with the Turin club, has already stated he will retire from the national team.
“It is time to pass on the baton to others and in any case, if I ended up being called up and not playing, I’d be furious. So it’s better to leave,” he said.