Wednesday June 27 2012
Rivera ahead of Italy-Germany

Italian legend Gianni Rivera is confident ahead of the Euro 2012 semi-final – although he admits Germany will one day beat the Azzurri.

Italy have never lost a World Cup or European Championship tie against tomorrow’s opponents and Rivera hopes that tradition will continue.

“Italy have always been very competitive,” the former Milan hero told AS. “We bring out the best of ourselves on the big occasions.

“It is clear that sooner or later Germany will beat us in a major tournament, but they haven’t managed to do so yet.”

Italy’s hopes may rest on the performance of Andrea Pirlo, the Juventus playmaker who led Italy to shoot-out glory on Sunday.

“The Golden Ball to Pirlo? It is an award that is given out to the best player of the year, not from June to July,” he added.

“Pirlo has had a great season with Juventus and he is leading Italy. Whoever wins the Golden Ball would have deserved it.”

Rivera played in and scored during the historic 1970 World Cup semi-final between Italy and Germany which was won 4-3 by the Azzurri after extra-time.

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