Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre believes Italy’s Andrea Pirlo is the player his side must stop if they are to emerge victorious on Sunday.
The two sides go head-to-head in their opening Confederations Cup encounter, wiith the 34-year-old Italian set to win his 100th international cap - and el Tri's boss has highlighted the playmaker's threat.
“Pirlo makes his team-mates play,” said De la Torre in a press conference Saturday in Rio de Janeiro. “(He) is an important piece, like (Mario) Balotelli, but they need the others for it to work. We need to concentrate on their movements to be able to break plays up.”
De la Torre added that Italy have become a more attacking side in recent times and feels that could work to Mexico’s benefit, although the former Chivas coach also highlighted the qualities of the Azzurri.
“Sometimes they give you a few more spaces, but that will also depend on us, on how we move, how we contain the opposition and break forward,” he stated.
The Mexico coach is looking to put his side's disappointing CONCACAF World Cup qualifying campaign to one side and is adamant his goal is to win the Confederations Cup, even though el Tri have recorded just one win in nine games during 2013.
“We’ve come to enjoy it and with the firm intention of winning. It won’t be easy, but that is our intention in every tournament.”