Italian king, Andrea Pirlo, NOT retiring from international play

As a dejected Italy team returned from a disappointing World Cup, there was one piece of good news, with Andrea Pirlo saying he is considering reversing his decision to retire from international football.

The 35-year-old, who plays for Juventus, said before the World Cup that he would quit international football after the tournament in Brazil. However, he said on Thursday that “if the new national coach thinks he needs me, I will happily remain available”.

Pirlo has scored 13 goals in 112 appearances for Italy since making his debut in 2002 and helped Italy to their World Cup victory in 2006. In this World Cup, Italy lost to Costa Rica and Uruguay after winning their opening game 2-1 against England.The manager, Cesare Prandelli, resigned immediately after the defeat to Uruguay.

The Italy captain, Gianluigi Buffon, was the only player to speak as the players disembarked but the Juve goalkeeper refused to comment on Mario Balotelli, who has been criticised for his performances in Brazil, saying: “I’ll talk only about football. We made a bad impression.” Balotelli, who plays for Milan, got off the plane sporting a newly blond crest in his hair.

First off the plane in Rome was the former president of the Italian football federation Giancarlo Abete, who joined Prandelli in resigning immediately after the Uruguay defeat. The Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi was the last to disembark and he and the Lazio midfielder Antonio Candreva were the only two applauded by approximately 20 airport workers waiting at the bottom of the steps.