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Jan 28, 2014

Pirlo named player of the season

After criticizing Fernando Llorente, ESPN FC's Steve Nicol admits that he is now fulfilling his potential.

Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo has been named Serie A player of the 2012-13 season by his fellow players.

Andrea Pirlo didn't leave the Serie A but AC Milan are probably wishing he had.
Andrea Pirlo retains the award he won last year..

• Rzouki: Winning run ends

The award marks the second consecutive time that the Italy international has been honoured by his peers, following an outstanding season with the Turin giants.

The 34-year-old was a pivotal presence as Juventus claimed a second consecutive Serie A title and reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Pirlo said he was honoured to have again been picked by his fellow professionals as the most outstanding player in Italy.

"I really value this award because my footballing colleagues vote and it's very nice to be selected by your peers," Pirlo told uefa.com. "They do the same job as me and they see better than anybody else what happens on the pitch."

Pirlo was joined by teammates Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini and Arturo Vidal in the team of the season, while Juventus coach Antonio Conte was again named best coach.

"I thank the players I have had the privilege of coaching these past three years," Conte said. "We had a long-term project but results came much sooner than expected. We won in the first season, we won in the second and now we want a third scudetto in a row. We also have a plan for Europe. We need more patience but we have strength and ideas to do well."

Serie A team of 2012-13 (4-3-3)

Samir Handanovič (Inter Milan); Christian Maggio (Napoli), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Mattia De Sciglio (AC Milan); Arturo Vidal (Juventus), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Borja Valero (Fiorentina); Edinson Cavani (Napoli, now Paris Saint-Germain), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Mario Balotelli (AC Milan).

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