Football

Prandelli hails star turn Pirlo

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Italy coach Cesare Prandelli labelled Andrea Pirlo "a star" after the Juventus midfielder helped end England's dreams of European Championship glory.

Pirlo, 33, was named as UEFA's official man of the match after controlling the tempo of the game during a goalless 120 minutes and then scoring an audacious chipped spot-kick as Italy won 4-2 on penalties. It was no less than Italy deserved after a superior performance, though they had to come from behind in the shoot-out after Riccardo Montolivo missed their second penalty.

Prandelli said: "When Montolivo missed his penalty I was sad as he was one of the best players tonight. When Andrea Pirlo stepped up I was very calm - he's a star and knew what he needed to do; and he did it."

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