Italy’s Andrea Pirlo has insisted that his side will not be playing for a draw when they face Uruguay in their decisive final group game today.
Following a 2-1 victory over England and surprise 1-0 defeat at the hands of Costa Rica, a point will be enough to see manager Cesare Prandelli’s team through to the last 16, with them currently sitting ahead of the South Americans on goal difference.
However, Pirlo has remained defiant that they will be going for all three points in the match.
‘I hope you see a different Italy. Not the one who won against England or the one who lost against Costa Rica,’ he said. ‘It’s going to be a different match, as every match is.
‘We certainly hope to impose our style of play and to win the match. No team plays for a draw and we’re certainly not going to do that tomorrow.’
Italy can still top Group D over Costa Rica with a win, but they would also need a three-goal turnaround and for the already eliminated England to beat the CONCACAF outfit, as an in-form Colombia likely await the runners-up.
One of Europe’s most decorated players and a stalwart of Serie A for over a decade, Pirlo has continued to defy his increasing years with world-class performances for AC Milan and Juventus, his passing so far in Brazil as precise and masterful as ever.
A standout performer for the 2006 World Cup-winning side, this summer could well prove the 35-year-old’s final international bow with the Azzurri, as they look to avoid replicating their 2010 tournament which saw the team crash out of a group containing Paraguay, New Zealand and Slovakia.
With 111 appearances since making his debut in 2002, the legendary playmaker is certainly deserving of one final hurrah on the world’s biggest stage, but Italy will have to orchestrate their way past the formidable threat of Luis Suarez and Uruguay first.