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Soccer: Platini heaps praise on 'great' Pirlo

UEFA chief bemoans focus on strikers

Soccer: Platini heaps praise on 'great' Pirlo

Jerusalem, June 18 - Former France great and UEFA President Michel Platini on Tuesday heaped praise on Italy playmaker Andrea Pirlo, who again proved his worth by inspiring Italy to a 2-1 win over Mexico at the Confederations Cup. Pirlo also scored a superb free-kick, in addition to pulling the strings, in an impressive display in Sunday's match at Rio de Janeiro's famous Maracana stadium, his 100th international appearance. "Pirlo is a truly great player," said Platini, who used to play for Pirlo's club, Serie A champions Juventus. "He gives value in terms of organisation and skill". Platini bemoaned the fact that Pirlo does not get as much attention as he deserves because he is a midfielder, not a striker. "Unfortunately, it is the goal-scorer who stays in people's minds," said Platini. "Players like Pirlo are exceptional, they give added value. Hats off. But TV displays the images of the scorer and that's what stays in people's minds. Defenders and goalkeepers have the same problem".

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