sport

Pirlo plans to prolong exit

Andrea Pirlo is hoping to prolong his Italy career a little further by overcoming Uruguay to reach the knock-out stages of the World Cup.

Ahead of the tournament, the 35-year-old admitted he is planning to retire from international football after Italy's exit, despite recently penning a new two-year deal at Juventus.

Pirlo has been ever-present in Brazil as Italy have had mixed fortunes - beating England 2-1 before losing 1-0 to Costa Rica - but they now need a result against Uruguay in their final Group D game to secure progression to the last-16.

A point would be enough to send Cesare Prandelli's side through on goal difference, but Pirlo is eyeing all three as he admits an exit at this stage would be a major disappointment.

"My goal is to win and keep going in this tournament. I want to keep wearing this jersey, the most beautiful thing that can happen to a player," he said.

"All matches are important but decisive matches even more so. This is comparative to a final or a semi-final.

"It has the same tension, the same anticipation. We are in or out at the end of it.

"It would be a disappointment for the team and the country if we were to go out but we are not thinking about the disappointment.

"The outcome depends on us. We know how strong we are."