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EXCLUSIVE: Andrea Pirlo’s Current Premier League XI

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Andrea Pirlo wouldn’t just do it on a rainy night in Stoke – he’d do it with a pipe and slippers while a category five storm ripped the Britannia to shreds.

But while the fact he now plies his craft for New York City FC over in the MLS may be the Premier League’s loss, during an exclusive chat we had with the veteran midfielder this week - in which he admitted to being a big fan of Harry Kane - it’s clear he remains a big fan of the English game.

So with this in mind, we asked the thinking man’s footballer to name his current Premier League dream team. Opting for a solid 4-5-1, two English players even come in for special praise.

Enjoy.

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1. Joe Hart
"There are many good goalkeepers in England, but I think Joe has proved what a leader he is as well. He gets a lot of praise from [Gianluigi] Buffon, and if you are getting praise from the greatest ever then you are doing something very right."

2. Branislav Ivanović
"He came under some criticism at the start of the season, but it wasn’t just him but Chelsea as a team who were not playing well. Now he looks back to his best, and that means one of the best full backs in Europe."

3. Vincent Kompany
"Sometimes it takes a player not being there to realise how good he is. Manchester City’s vulnerability without their captain this seasons has been clear for all to see, it is so important they get him back."

4. John Terry
"You get players like Maldini for Milan who are so much more than a man on the field, they are part of the club. These are the types of player that are impossible to replace."

5. Nacho Monreal
"I like to watch Arsenal, and sometimes players don’t get the credit because you just expect them to always do a good job. Every time I have seen him play this season he has been faultless."

6. Kevin de Bruyne
"Has been exceptional since joining England. Can score goals, can create goals, very competent at set pieces. He is already looking like the complete attacking player."

7. Philippe Coutinho 
"Another player with so much vision and creativity, and I am sure there is so much more to come. He has the ability for Klopp to build his new Liverpool team around him." 

8. Yaya Toure
"Maybe not as consistent as he once was, but can still dominate a game. I told Paul [Pogba] that Yaya and [Patrick] Vieira are the two players he should try and replicate, and he can."

9. Mesut Ozil
"Maybe the most creative player in Europe right now. Creates an unbelievable amount of chances for attackers playing ahead of him. He has vision like nobody else in Europe."

10. Alexis Sanchez
"It is easy not to get the credit you deserve at Barcelona because of [Lionel] Messi, and now Neymar and [Luis] Suarez, but Sanchez has shown at Arsenal how good he is. They have made him the focal point of their attack and he is repaying their faith."

11. Sergio Aguero
"Just one of the best strikers in the world, despite some injury problems. When he is fit and in the team, Manchester City look another class to everybody else in England."

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Andrea Pirlo: "Harry Kane is going to have a big career"

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