Montolivo: It's an honour to be compared with Pirlo

The AC Milan star believes he is playing at a very high level and says his improvement has coincided with that of Massimiliano Allegri's side
AC Milan midfielder Riccardo Montolivo has admitted he is "honoured" by the comparisons with Juventus' Andrea Pirlo.

The Italy international has been instrumental in the Rossoneri's upturn in form, which has impressed many onlookers and helped lift the Serie A side into third place in the table.

On the eve of arguably Milan's biggest match of the season as they prepare to face Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League, Montolivo says it is incredible to be rated as highly as the former Rossoneri star, but insists he is only concentrating on improving.

"It's an honour to be compared with Pirlo, who is one of the best midfielders in the world," he told reporters.

"I just want to continue doing well and keep improving.

"At the moment I am playing at a very high level. Both the team and I have matured as the season has progressed.

"We know it will be hard but these are the type of games we cherish."