Sunday March 26 2017
Pirlo: 'Quality generation for Italy'

Andrea Pirlo is impressed with the “quality generation” of Italy players coming through, including Marco Verratti, but “Gigi Buffon is still the best.”

The New York City FC midfielder sat down for a lengthy interview with the Corriere dello Sport. You can read the rest here and here.

“People compare me to Verratti, and I do really like him, but we have very different playing styles. To be honest, I don’t see anyone out there to plays the way I do.

“There are many talented midfielders, but not the kind of playmaker I am. I like Roberto Gagliardini at Inter too, but he has a different role to mine.

“Apart from Verratti, who has already made his mark at club level, I really like Domenico Berardi of Sassuolo, Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, Juventus defender Daniele Rugani, Bologna’s Federico Di Francesco and the Fiorentina pair Federico Chiesa and Federico Bernardeschi.

“It is a quality generation coming through. These things do happen in football.”

When it comes to the best goalkeeper of all time, Pirlo has no doubts.

“For me, it’s Buffon. We’ve been playing together since we were 15 years old in the Italy squad. We still speak often.

“What if he came to New York too? He’s a bit old now for that move, but he’s still the best.

“I have always said that it’s fundamental to have a strong core of Italian players in a club squad. At Milan we had that and we won. The same at Juventus. At Inter they had a core of Argentines who felt very Italian and they won.

“When there’s a solid base of Italian players, those who arrive take their example and then everyone is working in the same direction.”

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