Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo says his focus is firmly on helping Italy progress to the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, and not on his impending retirement from the Azzurri. Pirlo, who played a pivotal role in Italy's last FIFA World Cup triumph in 2006, announced last week that the 2014 finals in Brazil would signal his last outings for the national team.
But ahead of a "make-or-break" clash against Uruguay in Natal on Tuesday, the 35-year-old Juventus midfielder said he is concentrated only on making sure Italy claim a morale-boosting win against their south American Group D rivals.
"My only focus now is on winning this game and keeping us in the competition," Pirlo said. "I haven't even begun to think about the future."
With Costa Rica already through and England eliminated by the Italians' defeat to the central Americans in Recife, Italy and Uruguay - who both have three points - have been left to battle for the second qualifying spot.
"All World Cup games are important, but this one's like a semi-final or a final," Pirlo said. "It's not causing us too much concern, but of course it's a fundamental game. It's make or break. Obviously it would be a huge disappointment for the whole squad if we didn't go through to the second round. But we have the capabilities to win this game. We won't be going out there looking to draw."