Incoming Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti believes Antonio Conte has left Andrea Pirlo out of his Italy squad for Euro 2016 because the veteran midfielder does not fit his pressing style.
The 37-year-old was somewhat surprisingly snubbed for the finals in France despite the absence of Claudio Marchisio and Marco Verratti in midfield.
Ancelotti was not surprised, though, and feels Pirlo’s move to the MLS with New York City cost the experienced midfielder his place.
“The current Italy team will have to find a good model of play that suits them because Conte does not have many star names and he has already lost Marco Verratti and Claudio Marchisio to injury,” Ancelotti told The Telegraph.
“My guess is that Conte wants to play with a high intensity which is why he has not selected Pirlo.
“Obviously, I love Pirlo as a player. My God, what a talent. But playing for New York City in Major League Soccer means that he has grown accustomed to another kind of rhythm.
“He is 37 now and if his manager wants to play the pressing game then Pirlo is not the obvious choice.
“Even so, Pirlo spots a pass in a split-second that lesser players could spend a whole lifetime waiting to see.
“The key to Italy’s success will be getting the tactical approach just right and they already have a strong defensive structure from the Juventus players in the squad.”
Italy meet Sweden, Belgium and Republic of Ireland in Group E.