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Pirlo spot on with his appraisal of Liverpool skipper Gerrard

| 26.02.2014

With a Group D showdown against England first on the agenda at this summer’s World Cup for Italy, their veteran playmaker Andrea Pirlo has come out and laid high praise at the door of Three Lions skipper Steven Gerrard.

At 34, Andrea Pirlo is still strutting his stuff for Serie A champions Juventus in a similar quarter-back role to what 33-year-old Gerrard is now excelling in for Liverpool, and is sure to be a real thorn in England’s side when they square up to the Azzurri in Brazil.

In advance of that June 14th date, Ladbrokes have labelled Italy the 7/5 favourites to take maximum points, England are 11/5, while the draw is 2/1.

And speaking of his opposite number in the deep-lying midfield role, Pirlo seems adamant that the Liverpool skipper still has plenty to offer for club and country in the coming years.

Pirlo said: “The intelligent players adapt and Gerrard has the ability to do that.

“He is an excellent passer of the ball, possesses an intelligent football brain, and has great vision.

“If you look after yourself and are willing to adapt, there is no reason why you can’t play at the top level until your late 30’s.

“Gerrard is a top professional; it is very possible he has many years left for Liverpool and England in a new role.”

While these sentiments can be dismissed as hot air, there are actually plenty of stats which suggest that Pirlo has called it correct, with Gerrard’s influence on Liverpool’s top-four charge as great as ever.

Using all the key stats such as pass completion percentage, goals and assists, Gerrard actually ranks as the fourth-highest overall player by game ratings, at an average of 7.71 per match in the Premier League this season according to WhoScored.com.

Far from being past it, the Liverpool man seems to be relishing his new role for the Reds.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.