Italy chief reassures fans over Andrea Pirlo injury
The head of the Italian Football Association is confident Andrea Pirlo will recover from a calf injury in time for the knock-out stages of the World Cup.
The AC Milan maestro picked up the injury, which threatens to limit his participation in South Africa, during a friendly match with Mexico last week.
But Giancarlo Abete, the head of the Italian football association, has reassured Italian fans over the playmaker’s condition.
“There is faith for Pirlo as we understand his importance for the team,” Abete told Radio Anch’io lo Sport.
“He has always made a difference for Italy, and he is determined to play in this tournament. We have to analyse his conditions as we move on,” he added.
Pirlo was a crucial member of Italy’s World Cup-winning squad in 2006 with the creative midfielder receiving deserved plaudits for his performances against Ghana in the group stages, Germany in the semi-finals and in the final against France.
Pirlo is understood to need between 15 and 20 days recovery time meaning that the experienced 31-year-old looks set to miss Italy’s group F matches against New Zealand, Paraguay and Slovakia.
Should Italy progress into the knock-out stages they will expect to face either Cameroon, Denmark or the Netherlands in the first knock-out stage.