World Cup 2014: Roy Hodgson admits fears over facing Andrea Pirlo after veteran midfielder put pay to England's hopes in Euro 2012

Hodgson was asked if Mario Balotelli posed the biggest threat to England's World Cup hopes but the Three Lions manager believes Pirlo could wreck their chances

Roy Hodgson believes that veteran Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo could pose the biggest threat when England begin their World Cup campaign in Brazil against the Azzurri.

The England boss remembers Pirlo during his time as a coach in Italy and thinks the Juventus playmaker still has plenty of quality at the age of 34.

When asked by Italian TV station Mediaset if he feared AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli, Hodgson said: "Do we fear him (Balotelli)? I know him because he played in England (at Manchester City).

"We have respect for everyone but if I have to give a name, I say Pirlo.

"In the last 10 years, he has made Italy play.

"I had him three months at Inter and he has had an incredible career."

 

Pirlo played for the Italian team that won the World Cup in 2006 in Germany and has been a linchpin for Italy coach Cesare Prandelli.

England take on Italy in their Group D opener in the Amazon city of Manaus on June 14.

The Azzurri, three-time World Cup winners, went undefeated to reach the top tournament in Brazil but Hodgson expects his team to be ready.

"Italy is very strong," he said. "Prandelli has done a great job in the last four years and I believe the (Italian) team has grown during this time.

Pirlo: Depotivo were so crazy they could've been on drugs

"But is England defeated before we start (World Cup)? Perhaps that's how people in Italy see us but the game has to be played and then we shall see.

"I never think of being defeated before a game, I always think of winning."

Hodgson says no side will have an advantage regarding the hot and humid conditions that await them in the Amazon.

"We will do like any other team that will play in Manaus, which has a special climate," the 66-year-old said. "We are doing everything possible to prepare the players in order to deal with these conditions.

"It's not the best situation for us but neither for Italy.

"I don't think right now this even represents an advantage for any South American side."

Read More: Pirlo admits 2005 Champions League defeat nearly forced him to retire

PA

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news

Sport
footballThe latest scores and Twitter updates from tonight’s games, featuring Bayern Munich vs Man City and Chelsea vs Schalke
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
Extras
10 best table lamps
indybest
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week