Cesare Prandelli and Carlo Ancelotti have lavished praise upon Andrea Pirlo after his performance for Italy in the Euro 2012 quarter-final against England.
Pirlo was at his metronomic best against the Three Lions and after guiding Juventus to the Scudetto while completing the Serie A season undefeated, the two coaches were eager to talk up the 33-year-old's ability.
The current Italy trainer was adamant that despite the record-breaking efforts of both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the past year, it is Pirlo who deserves to be named World Player of the Year.
"Yes, for me, Andrea should win the Ballon d'Or. He deserves it. He is the best of them all," Prandelli told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I was amazed when I heard his statements after the game: when he said that he shot it like that in an attempt to make things difficult for the English psychologically.
"I would never have thought of it, and that confirms that the true champions go the extra mile for the good of the team."
Such glowing words were echoed by Pirlo's former boss at AC Milan, who ran out of superlatives when describing the midfielder. Ancelotti also added that despite Germany being the best team he has seen in the competition so far, the Azzurri will prove more than a match for Joachim Low's side.
"Did you see what Pirlo did? Only a genius has this intuition. Andrea is immense and there are no other adjectives to add," he said.
"If I were Low I'd be careful, against this Italy it is no laughing matter.
"I think that Germany are the best team I've seen at the Euros, the most complete, but it will be a struggle against us. But then I'm Italian, I'm a fan of the Nazionale.
"I see Germany less favoured than it may seem."
Italy take on Germany in the semi-final at the National Stadium in Warsaw on Thursday evening.
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