Andrea Pirlo accepts Antonio Conte's Italy snub for Euro 2016
By Allan Valente
Last Updated: 30/05/16 4:25pm
Andrea Pirlo says he has no hard feelings towards Antonio Conte after being left out of the Italy squad for Euro 2016.
The 37-year-old midfielder, who plays for New York City, has featured in every major tournament for his country since Euro 2004 but that run ended when he was left out of the provisional Italy squad named last week by his former Juventus coach.
Conte has said that Pirlo and Sebastian Giovinco, who plays for Toronto, had paid the price for deciding to play in MLS, with the Italy boss also suggesting in November that World Cup-winner Pirlo should return to his homeland if he wanted to continue his international career.
"I have spoken to Conte and there is no disappointment on my part," Pirlo told Sky in Italy. "He knows what he has to do and what he should not do.
"We had discussions during the season and both parties made their own decisions. He is the coach and it's only right he makes his decisions and decides what is best for him.
"I hope Italy win although the favourites are other teams such as Germany, Spain and France."
Pirlo made the last of his 116 international appearances against Malta in September. He was called up for subsequent European Qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Norway but missed those games through injury and has not been picked since.
Italy have been drawn in Group E with Belgium, the Republic of Ireland and Sweden in this summer's tournament.