Pirlo: ‘Calcio needs to regenerate’

Italy legend Andrea Pirlo believes calcio must “regenerate” before the Azzurri can return to the top of the world.

The national team failed to qualify for this summer’s World Cup, and one of the key men from the triumphant 2006 team says fundamental reform is needed.

“Italian football needs to regenerate, to change,” Pirlo insisted, speaking to Sky.

“It’ll take time, but right now we need to start from scratch after the failure to qualify for the World Cup.

“It has to be a jolt to start again and become even stronger.”

The former midfielder also discussed the chances of Italy’s Champions League representatives.

“Juventus are certainly strong, they’ve shown that in recent years with two out of the last three finals.

“They have a strong team this year, and they have a good chance of getting to the end in this Champions League.

“Roma have been more surprising, they won the group when many assumed they’d go out and now it’s right for them to play it as far as they can.”

Pirlo retired after the end of the 2017 MLS season, what will he do next?

“I’ve only just finished, I just need a little time to re-establish myself and understand what I want to do.

“I’ve got plenty of time ahead of me and I’ll slowly decide what I want to do.”