Pirlo planning to dictate play against England

Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo has admitted that he is looking to dictate the play when his side meet England in their opening World Cup match on Saturday, Sky Sports has reported.

The Juventus star received many plaudits for his performance against the Three Lions back in Euro 2012, when he helped Italy dominate the possession, before scoring a penalty in the shootout, which eventually led to his side moving into the semi-finals.

Since England were drawn to face Italy in Group D back in December, a lot of the attention has been on the potential impact the 35-year-old may have on proceedings when they meet in Manaus, and on Wednesday, he declared that he like to play the same way as he did in Kiev two years ago.

He said: “One of my targets is to play like I played in Kiev, to control the game and help my team win. I don’t like to have players tackle me, I don’t have fun. But I always try to find different solutions. I don’t get nervous.”

Pirlo did concede, however, that he will come up against a stronger England side this time around, adding: “England have a great team which is much better now than back at Euro 2012. They have young players who run a lot, very physical, but we know how to face them and we are studying them. Italy always have good games against England.’

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