Andrea Pirlo wishes he could play in Sunday’s top of the table Serie A clash between Napoli and Juventus.
Pirlo’s former club Juventus have an eight-point lead at the summit as they seek a sixth successive league title, but Gonzalo Higuain’s return to Stadio San Paolo is expected to result in a fearsome atmosphere in Naples.
The New York City FC midfielder, who won four league titles in four years during his time in Turin, praised Napoli’s style of football under coach Maurizio Sarri, but insisted Juve are going to remain Italy’s dominant force for some time to come.
“This is going to be a fascinating and delicately-poised game, for sure,” former Italy international Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia.
“There will be tension because it’s an important encounter and of course there’s Gonzalo Higuain’s return to Napoli. This is the kind of match you really want to play in, but right now I am here and enjoying myself in MLS.
“Napoli play very well, last season Maurizio Sarri brought his playing style to a big club. Watching them play is really a feast for the eyes. However, Juve have the stronger squad – proving that last season and in the current campaign – and they will be the strongest for a few years yet.”
Pirlo is positive about the future of Italian football, with a number of talented youngsters breaking into the Azzurri team under coach Giampiero Ventura.
“I like this new Italy side, as some really interesting young players are coming through, we’ve got new faces making their mark and they are all impressive,” said Pirlo.
“Roberto Gagliardini and Danilo D’Ambrosio of Inter Milan are doing really well and playing positive football. [Gianluigi Donnarumma] is the goalkeeper of the future.”