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The Bayer Leverkusen director stressed that the Azzurri are not the defensive team they used to be, and had nothing but kind words for the Juventus playmaker

Rudi Voller has taken the time to praise Andrea Pirlo ahead of Germany's Euro 2012 semi-final against Italy on Thursday.

The Bayer Leverkusen director believes that the influential midfielder plays a key role for the Azzurri and has advised the Nationalelf to isolate the Juventus star to increase their chances of reaching the final.

"[Cesare Prandelli] gives him all the freedom he needs and he makes perfect use of it," Voller stated to Kicker.

"He plays either in front of the defence as a deep-lying playmaker, but can also feature closer to the strikers. Pirlo has shown that he is of added value all over the pitch.

"It would definitely be a good idea to try to isolate him. I had the feeling that he had like 500 touches against England rather than the 150 he actually had. And then that fantastic penalty.

"Italy are not a team that parks the bus or plays Catenaccio. Prandelli plays with two strikers, because he doesn't want to bench one of them. And then he has a class forward like [Antonio] Di Natale ready to come from the bench."

Thursday's match in Warsaw kicks off at 20:45CET.

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