Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira believes Italy will be the team to watch at next year’s World Cup finals.

Brazil are favourites to win the competition they retain the trophy they won in 2002, but Parreira believes Italy will pose a significant threat.

“Considering the absolute value I think our number one opponents are Argentina, but the environmental situation will play in favour of Germany, who host the tournament, and Italy too,”┬áhe told ‘Gazzetta dello Sport’.

”I think Brazil will surely face one of them, if not both of them.

“In comparison to the recent past Italy have a most free game, they are most confident in the big quality of their players.

”Without losing something in their traditional defensive ability, they join the attack in a fluid way and they remain there for a long part of the match.”

Parreira singled out playmaker Andrea Pirlo as one to watch next summer.

”In Lippi’s chessboard there is a man, Pirlo, who my champions define at their level,” he continued.

”The first note arrived from Rivaldo, who in his short period at Milan remained impressed by him.

”Then arrived the others: Kaka, Cafu, Emerson, they all say that Pirlo is the perfect recreation of a really important player in Selecao’s history, Carlos Dunga.”

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