The Man's Good
Posted: Jun 26, 2012
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli labelled Andrea Pirlo "a star" after the Juventus midfielder helped end England's dreams of European Championship glory.
Pirlo, 33, was named as UEFA's official man of the match after controlling the tempo of the game during a goalless 120 minutes and then scoring an audacious chipped spot-kick as Italy won 4-2 on penalties.
It was no less than Italy deserved after a superior performance, though they had to come from behind in the shootout after Riccardo Montolivo missed their second penalty.
"Penalties are a lottery but I thought we deserved victory in the end," said Prandelli.
"When Montolivo missed his penalty I was sad as he was one of the best players tonight. I was watching with my arm around my son and I told him he was lucky he didn't have to buy a ticket.
"When Andrea Pirlo stepped up I was very calm - he's a star and knew what he needed to do; and he did it.
"Around 80% of penalty shoot-outs go down to luck. Some players are used to this kind of pressure, some are just calm in these situations - but mainly it's down to good fortune.
On the game as a whole, he added: "I wasn't surprised by tonight. I knew we could control the game.
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