Daniele De Rossi has labelled Italy team-mate Andrea Pirlo a genius ahead of Thursday’s Euro 2012 semi-final clash with Germany.
Pirlo has been the focus of much of the build-up on account of his influential displays to date and Sunday’s stunning scooped penalty in the shoot-out success over England.
De Rossi has nothing but admiration for the Juventus midfielder but he is keen to point out that he is not the only weapon in Cesare Prandelli’s side.
“When there’s a genius player in a team then the opposition will always need to keep an eye on them,” the Roma man told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday.
“But even though Pirlo has been our most consistent player, we have other players who can hurt Germany.”
De Rossi is in doubt for the game in Warsaw with the sciatic nerve problem that forced him off in the quarter-final victory over England.
However, the 28-year-old is optimistic about his chances of passing a late fitness test, admitting he would be willing to play through the pain.
“I would hate to miss out because of an injury,” De Rossi said. “It’s not that I’m a hero, I just hate missing matches.
“I’ve got a bad back but I have faith and am confident I’ll make it. I’ll do everything in my power to be available for tomorrow.”