England were eliminated from Euro 2012 by Italy on Sunday night, with the Azzurri rightful winners. Despite a one-sided game it took penalties kicks to confirm Italian progression, with Ashley Young and Ashley Cole off-target.

One player stood out above the rest in the form of Andrea Pirlo. The veteran is certainly one of the best deep-lying playmakers in world football, and his ability on the ball, range of passing and ability to keep his side in possession shone through.

Pirlo’s poise on the ball was in contrast to the dogged but wasteful Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker, and shows the technical gulf between English football and some of their European rivals. The Three Lions simply did not have a midfield general to run the show this summer, which is unlike all other nations – Schweinsteiger, Xavi, Moutinho etc have shown the importance of this at Euro 2012.

And then, there was this…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORLXbT2v3QE&feature=player_detailpage

Masterful Andrea Pirlo, take a bow

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