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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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Pirlo: Balotelli welcome to join Juventus

Andrea Pirlo believes Mario Balotelli would be an ideal summer signing for Juventus, claiming the Manchester City striker would cause no disruption to the dressing room.

• Agent: Balotelli worth £200m
• Balotelli not seeking City exit

Pirlo and Balotelli were influential in Italy's recent Euro 2012 campaign, as the pair steered the Azzurri to within one victory of their first continental title in 44 years.

After numerous heated encounters with City boss Roberto Mancini last season, Balotelli's future at the club has been brought into question. However, following their largely successful time together with the national team, Pirlo insists he would gladly welcome Balotelli should he move to Juventus.

"Would I take Balotelli to Juventus? Of course I would take him," Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia. "And I know how to talk to him. We both come from Brescia and when we are in the national team we speak in dialect.

"There was no problem with managing him in our dressing room, indeed he was very well behaved. I'd gladly take him in Turin. Mario is a guy who needs you to stay close to him."

Meanwhile, Pirlo also revealed he hopes to continue playing for Italy through to the 2014 World Cup, on the condition that coach Cesare Prandelli remains at the helm.

"I hope to have the strength to get to Brazil 2014," said Pirlo. "Prandelli created something new; it would be terrible to see him leave the national team."

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