“In the last 10 years, he has made Italy play. We have respect for everyone but if I have to give a name, I say Pirlo,” said Hodgson in a recent interview.
The 34-year-old Italian veteran is no stranger to World Cup victory, having won the competition in 2006. Roy Hodgson was also Andrea Pirlo’s manager at Inter Milan several years ago, and so he is well positioned to judge the threat which Pirlo poses.
Cool, Calm and Collected
You would struggle to find another player on the same level as Andrea Pirlo in the modern game. His experience, vision, ability to control the tempo, and also his clinical finishing are usually traits that would be found individually in several different players – but Pirlo has the whole package.
His age would normally be a cause for concern, however his domestic performances for the Italian side Juventus this season speak otherwise. With 4 goals and 5 assists this season so far, Pirlo is proving that he’s still got it.
Hodgson will no doubt be warning the England players to look out for Pirlo when they play, although I’m sure that this is something that the England players don’t need to be told.
If England can prevent Pirlo from dictating the game, whilst avoiding giving away any free kicks around the area, then there is no reason why they can’t overcome the Italian side. However, all it takes is one through-ball or one set-piece, and Pirlo could have the England team in a situation that they don’t want to be in.
How will You be Watching the World Cup?
With only 51 days until the world cup starts, make sure that you are prepared for all of the games before they begin.
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by Adem Mustafa
Copywriter and freelance blogger