Juventus playmaker Andrea Pirlo has won the praise of Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Montella ahead of this weekend’s meeting.
“I would have given Pirlo the Golden Ball,” the former Roma and Catania tactician told Tuttosport. “It would have been a reward for an exceptional career.”
Viola technical director Eduardo Macia mirrored Montella’s view. “Pirlo deserved the Golden Ball,” he added. “He’s been playing at the highest levels for 15 years.”
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi was given the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or prize ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo or Real Madrid and Barca’s Andres Iniesta.
Pirlo – who ranked seventh behind Xavi, Radamel Falcao and Iker Casillas – won the Scudetto last year, as well as helping Italy to the Final of Euro 2012.
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!