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Andrea Pirlo: the best Italian midfielder of his generation?

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The 34 year old midfielder struck a wonderful late winner against Genoalast weekend followed by a midweek screamer versus Fiorentina, replenishing the praise the playmaker deserves. Often heralded as the perfect midfielder, is Pirlo Italy's greatest midfielder ever?

Pirlo is both complete and consistent. Aged 34 he has excellent touch, vision, an unmatched passing ability and a talent for free kicks and penalties.

Indeed he can do all types of free kick; Beckham-esque curlers, Juninho-esque knuckleballs, Ronaldinho-esque under the wall strikes and Del Piero-esque top corner thunderbolts.

He has scored over 40 and, with two wonder strikes in two matches, he shows no signs of slowing down. Pirlo's scored some fantastic free kicks during his long career, but the recent strike against Genoa was one of his best.

Pirlo is up there with the likes of Xavi, Totti and Cruyff in the best passers contest.Who can question his ability? Pirlo pick out a man 50 yards from goal, and a misplaced pass from his boot is a rare thing indeed.

Pirlo's first touch is good enough to allow him to turn away from defenders and into space, which is a perfect combination, and his positioning in space is perfect as well. They say that one player cannot run a team, but I'd say that they were wrong.

Pirlo, aged 34, is at the zenith of his career, like many in the Italian squad, but the fact that he has maintained this outstanding form is another asset of his.

When Italy needed him at Euro 2012, he produced, curling in a classy free kick and producing a class act in the quarter final against England (including an outstanding chipped penalty), causing him to be named in the UEFA Team of the Tournament.

He repeated a quality act at the Confederations Cup 2013. Pirlo has almost always produced when he's needed; the late winners against Genoa and Fiorentina are two examples, as well a free kick for Milan against Inter, the 30 yard thunderbolt in the Champions League against Real Madrid and countless others.

But possibly Pirlo's greatest moment came in his last season at Milan, against Parma.

Picking up the ball at 40 yards, Pirlo saw the opportunity to cut inside and shoot, and shoot he did.

The strike was outstanding, swerving and dipping into the top corner. It was one of the goals of the year. Pirlo, questioned about his age, had shown the Rossineri fans that he could still cut it.

And so, I would conclude that Pirlo is not only the greatest midfielder Italy has ever produced, but one of the greatest players.

Pirlo has a couple more years in him, and more of the same will lead to more awards, maybe even a Ballon D'Or?

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Topics:
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Italy Football
Serie A

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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