Juventus and Italy veteran Andrea Pirlo has backed Steven Gerrard to adapt well to his new deep-lying midfield role.
The Liverpool and England captain has recently been deployed in a position just in front of his own backline at club level by Brendan Rodgers, who is keen to elongate his talisman’s glittering career.
For much of his playing time, the Merseyside-born star has been well known for his driving runs and ability to break into the box, but at the age of 33 he appears to lack the energy to do so over a 90-minute game.
Pirlo has long been famed for his ability to operate in such a spot, with the role now often referred to by the World Cup winner’s own name.
The experienced ace feels that Gerrard – whom he played against in a number of high-profile encounters including two Champions League finals – can adjust his game and elongate his career:
“The intelligent players adapt and Steven Gerrard has the ability to do that,” he is quoted by the Daily Star.
“He is an excellent passer of the ball, possesses an intelligent football brain, and has great vision. He has all the qualities to play a deeper role.
“Top European clubs are always progressing with what they can do off the field. Training is getting more scientific, and we are constantly getting more educated on nutrition.
“If you look after yourself and are willing to adapt, there is no reason why you can’t play at the top level until your late 30s.
“Gerrard is a top professional, it is very possible he has many top years left for Liverpool and England in a new role.”