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Pirlo selected as Italy's finest

Monday 28 January 2013 9.58 CET
Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo collects his award

Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo was named as best Serie A player of 2012 at Sunday’s 'Gran Gala del Calcio', organised by the Association of Italian Footballers (ACI) at the Teatro Dal Verme in Milan.

Alongside Bianconeri colleagues Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Barzagli and Claudio Marchisio, the 33-year-old Italy playmaker was also selected in the team of the year, voted for by 600 professional footballers, the 1982 and 2006 FIFA World Cup winners and selected journalists. "We had a great season as a team," said Pirlo. "Now we want to win the Scudetto again and be as competitive as possible in Europe."

Juventus boss Antonio Conte, who led La Vecchia Signora to the 2011/12 Scudetto without losing a game, was selected as coach of the year. Former AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi received an award for achievements over the course of his career, while his successor in the Rossoneri attack, Stephan El Sharaawy, was voted as best young player of the year alongside Udinese Calcio's Luis Muriel.

The best young players of the season selected from Serie B were Lorenzo Insigne, Ciro Immobile and Marco Verratti, who all left Pescara Calcio after leading their side to promotion. Nicola Rizzoli, meanwhile, was voted as best referee.

Serie A team of the 2012 (4-3-3 formation): Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus); Christian Maggio (SSC Napoli), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Thiago Silva (AC Milan/Paris Saint-Germain FC), Federico Balzaretti (AS Roma); Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Antonio Nocerino (AC Milan), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus); Edinson Cavani (SSC Napoli), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese Calcio), Zlatan Ibrahimović (AC Milan/Paris Saint-Germain FC).

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