England boss Roy Hodgson believes that Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo is still the biggest threat to England when they meet at the World Cup this summer, as reported by the Evening Standard.

England and Italy face each other again in a major tournament; just two years after the Italians knocked Hodgson’s side out of the European Championship’s on penalties.

Hodgson is not ruling out the talent that is Mario Balotelli, but he feels Pirlo is the bigger danger to the way England play and their style.

“Do we fear him (Balotelli)? I know him because he played in England (at Manchester City),” Hodgson told Italian media.

“We have respect for everyone but if I have to give a name, I say Pirlo.

“In the last 10 years, he has made Italy play.

“I had him three months at Inter and he has had an incredible career.”

“Italy is very strong, Prandelli has done a great job in the last four years and I believe the (Italian) team has grown during this time.”

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