The 31-year-old has formed a solid central midfield partnership with Steven Gerrard that saw them through as Group D winners.
The Tottenham man has not always been so valued in the Three Lions set-up and he revealed his excitement for the crunch clash with the Azzurri.
“For me, this is what it is all about, what I have always wanted,” he told reporters on Friday. “Yes, it has been tough to make progress here, but me and Stevie are relishing it and long may it continue.”
Andre Pirlo was one of the key figures in Italy’s World Cup triumph six years ago and the Juventus playmaker continues to pull the strings in the Azzurri midfield.
“I am really looking forward to this,” Parker said about the prospect of facing Pirlo. “When you play football, you want to pit your wits against the best and play against the best. And obviously Pirlo is one of them. The clips I’ve seen of him this tournament - his passing ability and his control of the game is fantastic.
“So I’m really looking forward to the game; you look forward to playing against the best.”Follow GOAL.COM USA on