VALDES WARY OF PIRLO

Barcelona and Spain goalkeeper Victor Valdes has said that he is extremely wary of the threat posed by Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo. The former AC Milan midfielder is one of the established names in world football.

He has been responsible for Juventus winning their first league title since 2003, which is surprising given that AC Milan allowed him to leave on a free transfer only last season. It has proven to be one of the worst decisions by a club in recent seasons after Pirlo has demonstrated his ability to influence the game in a huge manner on more than one occasion.

Spain will be coming into the Euro 2012 after having lifted the Euro 2008 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. They know that pressure will certainly be on them after having achieved this unprecedented success in recent seasons. They are in the group containing Italy, who lifted the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Spain clearly know that the most difficult match of this group will be against Italy. Victor Valdes has said that Spain should concentrate on stopping Pirlo from influencing the game if they are to have any chance of winning three points in this opening fixture.

'He's the player that carries the Italian midfield. Everything goes through him. They have wingers that get forward a lot, they go on the attack. The strikers play quite deep, but they are always looking for that assist from Pirlo. We'll have to keep an eye on him and how we can counter that type of play,' said Victor Valdes ahead of their opening match in the Euro 2012.

“Italy can be struggling, perhaps not controlling the game, looking like they are not doing anything, but they are able to hold on, and then with one chance they can win the match,” said defender Arbeloa.