Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo has revealed his intention to continue playing for the national side under new manager Antonio Conte.

There were doubts about whether Andrea Pirlo will make any further appearances for the Azzurri, following Italy’s exit in the group stages at the World Cup. But the Juventus midfielder has now expressed his desire to continue playing under new manager Antonio Conte.

Pirlo has amassed 112 appearances for the national side, since making his debut in 2002. The 35-year-old midfielder was an integral part of the 2006 World Cup winning squad, and even at this age he is showing no sign of slowing down. Following Italy’s disappointment exit at the group stage of the World Cup, Pirlo was expected to hang up his boots for the national side, but the former AC Milan player has now expressed his intention to continue playing under former Juventus manager Antonio Conte, who was appointed as the new coach of the national team this summer.

“I have been talking with (new Italy coach Antonio) Conte who asked me if I was ready to play again for the Azzurri and I told him that I was. It was a difficult decision to take.

“I had wanted to stop playing for the national side but he (Conte) took over and he asked me to lend a hand.

“I am happy to do that and we are hopeful we can achieve great things together.” – The Juventus midfielder said.

Italy started their new era under Conte with a win over Netherlands and will tonight begin their qualifying campaign for the 2016 European Championship against Norway. Pirlo is absent from the squad for this game due to a hip injury, which also kept him out of Juventus’ opening match against Chievo. But the midfield maestro is expected to feature in the match against Azerbaijan next month.