Pirlo: Midfield rotation to confuse rivals

FREE-KICK THREAT: Pirlo believes he has mastered Brazilian Juninho's free-kick technique to make the ball swerve.


    Jun 13, 2014

    Pirlo: Midfield rotation to confuse rivals

    ANDREA Pirlo has warned that Italy will "keep England guessing" ahead of their World Cup showdown.

    England boss Roy Hodgson has hinted heavily that they plan to man-mark Italy's midfield kingpin in Manaus tomorrow, but Pirlo insisted that would be a waste of time.

    The Juventus veteran, 35, worked alongside Daniele De Rossi and Marco Verratti in training, as they look to rotate in midfield and call England's bluff.

    Pirlo said: "We tried this new solution with a midfielder in front of the defence and two directors further forward with more freedom.

    "We like this option, it can give great results and we are working to improve every day.

    "In truth, it's a system that involves rotation, as we go forward and, at other times, I'd come back into the more classic position.

    "We aim to rotate the midfield positions to keep our opponents guessing. Any system is good as long as we play well."

    Pirlo said that he studied the free-kick technique of Brazilian Juninho Pernambucano to make the ball swerve in the air.

    At first Pirlo could not do it. But when he was in the bathroom one day, he suddenly realised that Juninho had an unusual way of making contact with the ball, using only the first three toes of his foot.

    The next day, still wearing his street shoes, Pirlo struck a ball at A.C. Milan's Milanello training site. Seven times he applied the Juninho technique, he recalled, and each time the ball curled into the top corner of the net.

    England, beware.