Friday June 29 2012
Merkel hails artistic Pirlo

German youngster Alexander Merkel has hailed the ability of Italian international Andrea Pirlo. “He is football.”

The 20-year-old played alongside Pirlo at Milan before the latter joined Juventus and Merkel moved to Genoa.

“Pirlo is football,” the midfielder told Stuttgarter Zeitung. “It is incredible what he can do with the ball and how he can anticipate situations.

“The way that he had the courage to chip that penalty in the shoot-out against England was pure art – it left you speechless.

“I’m happy that I was able to play alongside a player like him and I learned from him on a daily basis. He used to give me useful advice to help me improve.”

Merkel left the Rossoneri again this summer for the Grifone, but he is being linked with a possible switch to Roma.

“It is an honour to be paired with Roma because they are a great club,” the German Under-20 international stated.

“However, I have signed a four-year contract with Genoa. Let us wait and see what happens.”

Italy beat Germany 2-1 in last night’s Euro 2012 semi-final tie.