Euro - I'm not good enough to win Ballon d'Or, says Pirlo

KRAKOW, Poland Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:29pm IST

Italy's Andrea Pirlo celebrates his goal against Croatia during their Group C Euro 2012 soccer match at city stadium in Poznan, June 14, 2012. EUTERS/Tony Gentile

Italy's Andrea Pirlo celebrates his goal against Croatia during their Group C Euro 2012 soccer match at city stadium in Poznan, June 14, 2012. EUTERS/Tony Gentile

KRAKOW, Poland (Reuters) - Andrea Pirlo, exalted by the football world for his exploits at Euro 2012, does not believe he should win the FIFA Ballon d'Or this year because he does not score enough goals.

The 33-year-old, whose Italy side face Germany in Thursday's semi-final, has never been a regular scorer from his deep-lying midfield role but wowed the tournament with his chipped penalty in the last-eight shootout win over England.

Asked if he thought he deserved to be named the World Player of the Year having also guided new side Juventus to the Serie A title in May, the 2006 World Cup winner was categoric.

"No, there is (Lionel) Messi and (Cristiano) Ronaldo. It's almost impossible to be in front of them," he told a news conference that included journalists from as far afield as the United States and China.

"They score lots of goals. I don't think it is under discussion."

Whatever modest Pirlo says, creative players like him are generally outshining strikers at the tournament and the Italy man warned his team mates of the threat posed by another midfielder in good form - Mesut Ozil.

"There are lots of good Germany players but Ozil is crucial for their game," he said, fearing the extra preparation time Germany and Ozil have had for the Warsaw clash could be a factor.

"Two days less is a lot in an important phase of a championship. It would have been better to have it more balanced."

Nevertheless, Pirlo thinks Italy will trouble Joachim Loew's side, who have never beaten the Azzurri in a World Cup or Euros and lost to them in the 2006 semi-final on home soil.

"Germany for sure will be scared of us," he said, reckoning the Italy midfield is "more or less at the same level" as Spain's engine room.

"I'm curious to play in this important game. I'm almost at the end of my career and these emotions might not happen again."

(Editing by Ken Ferris)

Reuters Showcase

Putin Critic Killed

Putin Critic Killed

Russians march in memory of murdered Putin critic.  Full Article 

Pakistan's First Win

Pakistan's First Win

Irfan bounces Zimbabwe out as Pakistan claim first win.  Full Article 

Budget 2015

Budget 2015

Full coverage of 2015/16 budget.  Full Coverage 

Hacked to Death

Hacked to Death

Bangladesh pays tribute to U.S. blogger killed in machete attack.  Full Article 

The Apple Car

The Apple Car

Apple car rumours fuel Geneva debate about car of future.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Dum Laga Ke Haisha" is rooted in reality, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar.  Full Article | Related Story 

Crowded Market

Crowded Market

China's Huawei enters smartwatch frenzy with round-face models.  Full Article 

Lathmar Holi

In Pics: Lathmar Holi

Images of "Lathmar Holi" at Nandgaon in Uttar Pradesh.  Full Coverage 

World Cup 2015

World Cup 2015

Full coverage of cricket world cup in Australia and New Zealand.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage