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Andrea Pirlo On England, Lallana, Barkley & Gerrard

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Italian maestro Andrea Pirlo has recently spoken to the BBC about England and some of the players who impressed so much.

Claudio Villa

It's hard not to be impressed by Pirlo, at age 35 he stills holds the keys to many a defense and he is still one of the most vital players for Italy this summer in Brazil.

Having made over 100 appearances for Italy and having made nearly 500 appearances in Serie A (490), when he speaks, you listed, when he speaks about England, we listen intently.

Pirlo recently did an interview with the BBC and if you want to read it in full (I really suggest you do) then click HERE . However we have pulled out a few quotes regarding England and their players.

What are the main challenges from your perspective when it comes to playing a team like England?

AP: "It has always been a difficult game, playing against England. But it's one you look forward to, especially when it's during a World Cup or European Championship. It's the first game of the group stages, so it will be a tough and important one."

Italy beat England in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012, but are you expecting a very different proposition this time?

AP: "I think so because new players have come in over the past two years. We will expect something different from England.

"It's all to play for and the best team doesn't always go through. It is a very tight, evenly balanced group. Whoever goes through will have done better than the others."

What do you think of Steven Gerrard as an opponent?

AP: "He is a great player, he's been playing at a very high level now for many years. He is an important pillar of England's team and I'm sure he will have a good World Cup."

What about the young England players? Who do you think of the likes of Ross Barkley and Adam Lallana?

AP: "I saw Ross Barkley play in the summer when we played Everton during a friendly in America. He made a big impression. I don't know too much about Adam Lallana, but people have told me good things about him."

Why do think it is that English football has not been able to produce a player liker Andrea Pirlo?

AP: "I don't know why this hasn't happened. England's style of play is different and perhaps the training and preparation for a role like mine is done in a different way, with players who play a different kind of football.

"But England have some great players, so I don't think the absence of a 'Pirlo' type of player has been a big problem for them."

Just a few thoughts on what he said. I think he's 100% correct to say facing England will be completely different in 2014 than it was in 2012, we have more pace, more attacking impetus and a more athletic midfield. However I don't agree that we have failed to develop a player like Pirlo, in fact we have one right now. Steven Gerrard is exactly what Pirlo became several years ago. He sits very deep, and he is basically the QB of the team. He takes it off Cahill and Jagielka and then moves it to the attacking players, whether that's a 5 year pass or a 50 yard one.

The World Cup is getting close, can you feel it? We can't wait!