Italy dealt a Pirlo blow

ITALY suffered a setback after influential midfielder Andrea Pirlo was ruled out of his country’s opening two games against Paraguay and New Zealand with a calf strain.

The 31-year-old, named man-of-the-match in the 2006 final against France, will be replaced in the Azzurri side by Fiorentina playmaker Riccardo Montolivo.

Pirlo is hoping to return in time for the final Group F match against Slovakia on 24 June.