Alessio: Pirlo the world's best free-kick taker

The Bianconeri assistant has lauded the midfielder's ability to find the net from set pieces, while at the same time saluting his side's display at the Artemio Franchi

Juventus assistant coach Angelo Alessio has hailed Andrea Pirlo as the best free-kick taker in the world in the wake of his winner in Thursday's 1-0 Europa League win over Fiorentina.

The Italy international slammed home a stunning 71st-minute set piece to lead the Bianconeri to a 2-1 aggregate triumph over Fiorentina and seal their place in the last eight of the Europa League.

The 34-year-old playmaker had done the very same thing in a 1-0 Serie A success against Genoa last Sunday, leaving Alessio in awe of Pirlo's dead-ball talents.

"I think he is the best in the world at free-kicks and I also believe he can beat Sinisa Mihajlovic's record of goals from set-plays in Serie A (27)," the Bianconeri assistant told reporters.

Alessio, who took Antonio Conte's place at the press conference due to the latter losing his voice during the match, then went on to voice his satisfaction with Juve's performance at the Artemio Franchi.

"We performed well from start to finish and are very pleased with the performance. This game was talked up a great deal," he mused.

"People say that the Europa League isn’t of great interest to us and we find that slightly irritating: we want to go all the way in every competition."