Thursday August 9 2012
Pirlo eyes gift for Chinese fans

Andrea Pirlo hopes to “give the Chinese fans a great victory” in the Italian Super Cup against Napoli on Saturday.

Juventus are in Beijing for the match, which kicks off at 13.00 UK time, and the local Bianconeri fans clearly outnumber their opponents.

“I’d been to Japan twice, but this is my first time in China,” Pirlo told a local television station.

“I am very happy with the warm welcome we received and hope to give the Chinese fans a great victory to celebrate.

“We hope to win the Scudetto again this season, plus do well in the Champions League, which is a truly interesting competition. We want to improve on last year.”

Pirlo looked back over his career and his slender chances of winning the Ballon d’Or.

“The most exciting moment of my career was certainly the 2006 World Cup Final. The recent Euro 2012 Final was painful, but we have to turn over a new page and go forward,” he said of that 4-0 defeat to Spain.

“The Ballon d’Or tends to be given to those who win on the European stage, but as long as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta are in the running, I think it’s always going to be between them.”

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