The Asian Age

Pirlo avail­able for Italy duty


Rome: An­drea Pirlo may yet don an Italy shirt again de­spite sug­gest­ing after the World Cup

he would move aside for younger tal­ent, new na­tional team boss An­to­nio Conte said Sun­day. “I wanted to be sure that he still had the same old fire,” Conte said on Ital­ian tele­vi­sion. “He’s a war­rior. He told me he was avail­able and that’s good enough for me,” conte added. Pirlo is cur­rently side­lined un­til Oc­to­ber with a hip in­jury, which means he will miss

Italy’s friendly with the Nether­lands in Bari on Fri­day

and the Euro 2016 qual­i­fier against Norway in Oslo the fol­low­ing Tues­day. Conte coached Pirlo at Ju­ven­tus for the last three sea­sons, in which they won the Serie A ti­tle ev­ery year, be­fore tak­ing over as na­tional

coach. Conte re­fused to be drawn over Mario Balotelli who

he omit­ted from the squad.

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