Ganesh Mukundan Date: 9th November 2013 at 1:45pm
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On the eve of a mouth-watering clash against Napoli at home coming up on sunday night, Andrea Pirlo took time off training to speak to reporters.

The Juventus midfielder has been vital to the Bianconeri’s resurrection and success since joining them in 2011.

“It is important that we win on Sunday and continue our winning streak in the league to cling onto Roma,” said the evergreen Pirlo to Sky Sports.

The rivalry between the Old Lady and Napoli has been fierce over the past few years, however the 34-year-old did have positive things to say about Partenopei and their target man Gonzalo Higuain.

“Napoli? They have changed a lot compared to a year ago and now seek to impose their game more, while in the past their football was more based on counterattack.

“Higuain has really struck me: we remembered him as a lethal striker in front of goal , but now he is also making himself useful for the team and sacrificing a lot.”

When he was then asked about young Paul Pogba, Pirlo branded him to be an exceptional talent and said that one day he could become one of the best in the sport.

And it is not surprising to see Pirlo’s very own name in the list of 23 who have been shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or.

“I’m glad to be in the midst of all those great players and to be the only Italian fills me with pride. I think Franck Ribery will win because he has shown real quality and won a lot of trophies over the past year.”

His former club Milan have had a dismal start to the campaign but Pirlo is remaining optimistic about their chances.

“When I left we had reached the end of a cycle and there was a need for a generational change. They are in a transitional period because there are so many young players in the team.” Pirlo concluded.