Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has claimed that Andrea Pirlo could be the key to Italy having a successful Euro 2012 campaign by revealing the midfielder "worries" him.
The reigning European champions have been drawn alongside Cesare Prandelli's side in Group C of the tournament in Ukraine and Poland, with Croatia and Republic of Ireland completing the pool.
And the 61-year-old states that despite their shock 3-0 defeat to Russia on Saturday, the result should not be taken for face value as the Azzurri still boast impressive quality throughout their 23-man squad.
“Pirlo worries me,” Del Bosque told reporters in advance of Sunday’s international friendly with China.
“Yesterday Italy lost 3-0 to Russia but I would not give too much importance to this result.
“In the ranks of the Azzurri there are excellent players in every department, and we will need to take this into account,” he concluded.
Spain and Italy meet in the Group C curtain raiser on June 10.