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Pirlo absence boosts Spain

20 Jun 2008 - 11:39:18

Coach Luis Aragones believes that Spain may gain an advantage in their Euro 2008 quarter-final against Italy from key Azzurri midfielder Andrea Pirlo being suspended.

Italy will be without both playmaker Pirlo and midfield enforcer Gennaro Gattuso for the showdown in Vienna on Sunday evening and Aragones thinks that that could prove crucial.

He commented: "I admit that Pirlo is a great player, but to say that Gattuso is also, I would not agree.

"Italy have several Gattusos but only one Pirlo. If Gattuso is a great player, then I'm a priest.

"Pirlo is a creator, whereas Italy have plenty of more defensive-minded types such as Gattuso.

"But Pirlo can also have a bad day and the player who replaces him could also have the match of his life against us.

"There are 23 Italian players, good ones all, selected by a very wise coach. I am not interested in individuals, but in the Italian team and even more in my team."


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