Alessio: Pirlo is world's best free-kick taker

Juventus assistant Angelo Alessio hailed Andrea Pirlo as the best free-kick taker in the world following his winner against Fiorentina.

Pirlo slammed home a stunning 71st-minute free-kick to give Juventus a 1-0 victory at Fiorentina on Thursday and seal their place in the last eight of the UEFA Europa League with a 2-1 aggregate triumph.

The win, aided by the dismissal of Gonzalo Rodriguez, who conceded the free-kick from which Pirlo scored, keeps alive Juve's hopes of playing in the final, which is to be held in their home stadium in Turin.

It also marked the second time in as many games that Pirlo has scored the winning goal from a set-piece after the 34-year-old did the same in a 1-0 success against Genoa last Sunday, leaving Alessio to marvel at the Italian's dead-ball talents.

"I think Pirlo is the best in the world at free-kicks and I also believe he can beat Sinisa Mihajlovic's record of goals from set-plays in Serie A (27)," Alessio told Mediaset.

"The extra man also helped us in the final stages, even if we wasted several chances to finish off the game."

Meanwhile Pirlo, who now has five goals to his name this term, was quick to express his delight after saving Juve once again.

"We knew we had to score. We prepared the game well and were convinced from start to finish that we could go through," Pirlo said.

"It was important to win both games and I'm happy I managed to break the deadlock with my goals."


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