Antonio Conte wants Andrea Pirlo for Italy

Juventus' Andrea Pirlo celebrates after scoring his team's second goal against Catania on October 30, 2013
© Getty Images
Antonio Conte says that he wants Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo to continue playing for the Italian national team.

Italy manager Antonio Conte has said that he intends to talk to Andrea Pirlo about continuing his international career.

The 35-year-old had been expected to retire from international football after the World Cup, but he has since announced that he would be available should he be called up.

Conte and Pirlo know each other well from their three years together at Juventus, and the new head coach has said that the midfielder would be a crucial part of his side.

"He is a champion and for me a great point of reference," Conte told reporters.

"He is among those who are in contention, but it is inevitable that, given his statements after the World Cup, that we must talk to him to understand what he feels and also he must hear what I have to say."

Conte was named as Italy's manager last week, following Cesare Prandelli's resignation in June.

Head coach of Juventus Antonio Conte reacts during UEFA Champions League Group B match between Juventus and Galatasaray AS at Juventus Arena on October 2, 2013
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