By TIM FONTENAULT
Andrea Pirlo does not seem to age, does he?
At 35, Pirlo is still playing like the midfield general who helped propel Italy to the World Cup triumph of 2006 and the improbable run to the Euro 2012 Final. In Italy’s 2-1 win over England on Saturday in Manaus, Pirlo again failed to show his age as he played a key role in Italy’s win over England.
He did not receive credit for an assist, but Pirlo was instrumental in pushing Italy forward onto goal. Pirlo was able to bring everyone into the match, including 24-year-old right back Matteo Darmian, an old teammate of Pirlo’s at AC Milan who was making his second appearance for Italy.
In the 35th minute, a corner kick was played to Pirlo, who ran over the ball, putting it into the path of his Juventus teammate Claudio Marchisio, who fired the ball past Joe Hart from about 25 yards away. The free kick specialist nearly made it 3-1 in stoppage time. His effort from nearly 30 yards out bent towards goal and slammed off the crossbar.
Pirlo earns Man of the Match honors over Darmian and Mario Balotelli, who scored the second goal, as well as England winger Raheem Sterling.
What did you think of Andrea Pirlo’s performance against England? Who was the best player of the match for you?
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