Tuesday June 18 2013
'Our strategy is to stop Pirlo'

Japan captain Makoto Hasebe has praised Andrea Pirlo ahead of their game against Italy on Wednesday.

The Blue Samurai face Cesare Prandelli's team in Recife tomorrow knowing that a loss to the Azzurri would almost certainly put them out of the competition.

And the Wolfsburg midfielder has admitted that will be a tough ask coming up against the Juventus star.

“Pirlo is the brains of the team,” he told a Press conference. “He really is an exceptional player.

“We can't let him play as he'd want to. Against Brazil we were too defensive.

“Italy are a great team – they are organized and solid in defensive.

“But our strategy is to stop Pirlo – only by doing that can we beat the Azzurri.”

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