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Pirlo: I have not even thought about retirement

The Italy international recently signed a contract extension until the summer of 2016 but he says that he could easily play on after that.

Juventus playmaker Andrea Pirlo says he has not yet given "the slightest thought" to retirement.

The Italy international, who will turn 35 in May, signed a two-year contract extension with the Bianconeri in January. It has been speculated that Pirlo will hang up his boots when his new deal expires in the summer of 2016 but he says that he intends to continue playing for as long as he feels sharp, both physically and mentally.

"I have not given even the slightest thought to the date of my retirement," Pirlo told Gazzetta dello Sport. "And I won't — not as long as I have this strength and this desire."

Pirlo said he is currently motivated by the prospect of winning a league and cup double, with Antonio Conte's men currently eight points clear at the top of Serie A and set to face Benfica in the last four of the Europa League, the final of which will be staged at Juventus Stadium.

"We always wanted to go as far as possible in the Europa League, driven by the possibility of a final in Torino," the midfielder said. "The cup is not a distraction. We want it as much as the Scudetto.

"At this point, though, every squad that remains [in the Europa League] is as strong as the other. They are all formidable opponents. But Benfica have done well to get here. They have had a great season and, technically, they are well equipped."

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