MX23RW : Monday, September 24 16:00:37

Leonardo Bonucci hails Andrea Pirlo

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci brands Andrea Pirlo the club's "silent leader".

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci has branded Andrea Pirlo the club's "silent leader".

The experienced midfielder is not known as a vocal presence on the field, but Bonucci has said that his teammate "knows how to carry his team through difficult moments".

"Pirlo's a leader - a silent leader, but one who knows how to carry his team through difficult moments," Bonucci told UEFA's official website.

"He showed that in Florence in the round of 16, ensuring that we won the match and progressed. He then also scored an important goal which helped us get past Lyon in the quarter-finals.

"Outside of football, he's a great man and has been one of the world's best midfielders in the history of the game."

Juventus face Benfica in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday. As it stands, the Portuguese side lead 2-1 from the first leg.

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Benfica's Argentinian defender Ezequiel Garay (R) celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Europa League semifinal first leg football match against Juventus on April 24, 2014
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Juventus5500114715
2Napoli540197212
3Fiorentina5311113810
4SassuoloSassuolo5311128410
5Lazio53027529
6SPALSPAL53024409
7Udinese52216428
8Parma52126517
9Inter Milan52126427
10Sampdoria52129367
11Genoa4202710-36
12AC Milan41217705
13CagliariCagliari512247-35
14Roma512279-25
15Atalanta BCAtalanta51229815
16Torino512257-25
17Empoli511346-24
18Bologna511325-34
19FrosinoneFrosinone5014012-121
20AC Chievo VeronaChievo5023513-8-1

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