Soccer-Japan coach singles out Pirlo for special attention (Reuters)

(Fixes dateline, no change to text) By Andrew Downie RECIFE, Brazil, June 18 (Reuters) – Japan must close down Andrea Pirlo if they want to defeat Italy and prolong their participation in this year’s Confederation Cup, coach Alberto Zaccheroni said on Tuesday. Juventus’ Pirlo controls the Italian midfield and his partnership with Mario Balotelli is the big threat to the Asian champions in Wednesday’s Group A game, Zaccheroni said. “We are going to focus on Pirlo and Balotelli but not exclusively, as they have great players all over the field,” the 60-year-old Zaccheroni said. …

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