Paris Saint-Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti insists that Andrea Pirlo’s chipped penalty was the deciding factor in Italy’s win over England at Euro 2012.
The Azzurri progressed to the semi-finals thanks to a shoot-out victory in which Riccardo Montolivo was the first to miss.
However, then Pirlo calmly stepped up with his ‘spoon’ effort which has won rave reviews since the triumph.
“That penalty changed the balance of the tie,” Ancelotti told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’m convinced of that.
“When a player does something like that it can depress your opponents and it enhances your teammates. That’s why Pirlo was decisive.”
The sublime spot-kick by the Juventus playmaker capped off a fine display in the previous 120 minutes of the tie.
“Andrea is an immense player and there are no other adjectives to add,” Ancelotti added. “Italy were unlucky, but then Pirlo thought about resolving the issue.
“We all saw what Pirlo did. Only a genius can do such things…”
Ancelotti knows Pirlo well having been his boss at Milan in the past. Ancelotti actually decided to regularly field Pirlo in his now trademark deep midfield position after he was used at Brescia in such a role by Carlo Mazzone.