Mircea Lucescu: 'Andrea Pirlo deserved to win the Ballon d'Or'

Andrea Pirlo
© PA Photos
Mircea Lucescu believes that Andrea Pirlo was the rightful recipient of the Ballon d'Or prior to Shakhtar Donetsk's Champions League tie against Juventus.

Shakhtar Donetsk manager Mircea Lucescu has revealed that he thinks Anrea Pirlo deserved to win the Ballon d'Or after an exceptional season for club and country.

Lucescu, who coached Pirlo at Brescia and Inter Milan early in his career, said that the award would have been a fitting way to cap a superb career.

With Juventus due to host Shakhtar in the Champions League on Tuesday, Lucescu said that Pirlo is a player he still keeps a close eye on.

The Romanian veteran said: "I know Pirlo very well. When I worked at Brescia, he was 15 and a half and was already attracting attention.

"We have stayed in contact since. His development has been exceptional and I am convinced that, with all he has done last year in the league and for Italy, he deserved to win the Ballon d'Or.

"He should have won it to crown his career. Pirlo is in great form, and for me, he is always number one."

Pirlo has helped guide Juve toward a 45-match unbeaten run in the league, which sees the reigning champions top Serie A early in the season.

Willian
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