Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque fought him twice this summer and believes “Andrea Pirlo could well win the Ballon d’Or.”
The veteran midfielder is among the candidates for the trophy after a remarkable campaign that saw Italy reach the Euro 2012 Final and Juventus end the season unbeaten in Serie A.
“Yes, Pirlo could well win the Ballon d’Or,” Del Bosque told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“He is a complete footballer, capable of creating the play and finishing it off. Admittedly, though, I hope the prize goes to a Spanish player.”
The World and European champion also commented on today’s hotly-anticipated Juventus-Napoli clash.
“These are the two teams who play the best football in Italy. If they give us a great match, then it’d be a wonderful calling card for Serie A.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition  - £11,000 to be won monthly!