Associated Press  |  Last updated June 16, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - JULY 24: Damien Duff #11 of Chelsea FC advances the ball around Andrea Pirlo #21 of AC Milan in the first half of their World Series of Football friendly match on July 24, 2005 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
One goal. One hundredth appearance. One Andrea Pirlo. Playing in the first competitive match at the newly renovated Maracana Stadium - one of the most iconic sites in world football - Pirlo scored Italy's opening goal against Mexico on Sunday in a 2-1 victory at the Confederations Cup. ''Andrea Pirlo is football for us,'' Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said, heaping praise on a player who has become synonymous with excellence. ''He's very down to earth, very normal, but he's always a fantastic player on the field.'' Pirlo was his usual midfield-maestro self in Italy's first match at the World Cup warm-up tournament, controlling play and distributing the ball to his teammates. But instead of providing the pivotal pass for the first goal, he scored it himself, curling a 27th-minute free kick over the opposing wall and into the top left corner. ''I was dreaming of a free-kick goal,'' said Pirlo, who scored all five of his goals for Juventus this season from similar set-pieces. ''I c...
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