Pirlo's influence will be decisive, declares Vialli

Former Italy international Gianluca Vialli is expecting Andrea Pirlo to be decisive at both ends of the pitch during the FIFA World Cup.

Some had suggested that the former Milan star's career was on the wane as he left San Siro in 2011, but the midfielder has been an ever-present in a Juventus team which has relentlessly dominated Serie A ever since.

Pirlo also played a major role in helping Italy reach the Euro 2012 final, where Cesare Prandelli's men ultimately lost 4-0 to Spain.

Two years on and with a couple of extra Serie A titles under his belt, Vialli is confident that Pirlo's influence and presence in the Italian midfield will be an strong as ever, suggesting the 35-year-old will be an important factor attacking as well as helping out at the back.

Vialli told Perform: "I think he (Pirlo) will be a big influence for our side. He's very experienced, he's very talented.

"He's like a number 10 and a number four at the same time because he can sort of develop the play from the back, getting the balls from defenders but he can also create chances; a number 10 and a number four at the same time.

"Fitness wise he has had a very good season, playing for Juventus, so I don't see why he shouldn't be able to last for 90 minutes. Also, you (Italian supporters) won't need to worry; England won't have to be worried just about Pirlo because we are playing with five midfielders.

"So if you man-mark him, Pirlo, then we've got (Marco) Verratti, we've got (Daniele) Di Rossi, we've got (Claudio) Marchisio, we've got (Antonio) Candreva.

"They are all very good players. So, Pirlo will be in a way sort of involved, but not as involved as he was in the past, which is good.

"He will be fresher when he's got the ball and there are going to be more players that England needs to worry about in our side then we had in the past."