Euro 2012: Why Andrea Pirlo Will Rule the Final Between Spain and Italy
Tonight in Poland, we were treated to another masterclass from one of the best midfielders in the world, Andrea Pirlo.
It's fitting that Pirlo's going to grace the final when you consider that he's been one of the best players in the tournament, alongside Spain's Jordi Alba and Portugal's Joao Moutinho.
The midfield battle in Sunday's Euro 2012 final between Spain and Italy will be one of the most intriguing encounters in recent memory.
Everybody knows how good the Spanish midfield is.
Players like Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas are loved and respected around the world.
Pirlo's performances over the last seven or eight years have been just as good as those players above, and the way he's played in the last two games is as if he's saying "don't forget about me!"
Pirlo belongs in the class of players like Alonso, Fabregas, Xavi and Iniesta. He might well even be at the top of the class.
He doesn't have players like Alonso or Iniesta to play with; he's doing most of the work himself.
His range of passing is exceptional, he's a set-piece specialist and he makes everything he does seem effortless.
In a team with of young players full of exuberance and adrenaline, Pirlo is one of the older heads in the that he can calm everything down just by stroking the ball around.
On Sunday night, Italy have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Nobody expects them to be able to beat Spain, but if Pirlo can calm things down and dictate the play, I can only see one team winning on Sunday.
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