The Juventus player said that the time was right for him to allow younger players to break into the team, and that if he became only a squad player then the best decision would be to withdraw himself from selection.
"As I already said, I am still thinking of retiring after this World Cup, as I have a certain age and it's only right to leave the field to the next generation coming through," Sky Sports News quotes Pirlo as saying. "It would be pointless to continue.
"If I am needed, then there's no problem in coming back. If I come on international duty and don't play, then I'd get angry! It's perhaps better I stay home."
Italy begin their 2014 World Cup against England on Saturday night.