Italy international midfielder Daniele De Rossi has hailed his teammate Andrea Pirlo.
Juventus midfielder Pirlo has announced his intention to retire from international football after the ongoing 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
The 35-year-old has been part of the Azzurri since 2002 and won the World Cup in Germany in 2006, while also helping his country reach the final of the European Championship in 2012.
De Rossi, who has been playing for Italy since 2004, has now praised his compatriot, and has insisted that he will continue to play for his country as long as possible.
“Pirlo has touched my soul because we played with each other for over 10 years,” he told reporters.
“He is an example and he deserves all the respect he deserves. He never complains and he does not dive.
“Do I think about retiring from Italy duty? No. I feel good and I do not an expiry date. I will honour this shirt as long as I can.”