sport

Pirlo takes players award

Juventus playmaker Andrea Pirlo was delighted to be named 2012-13 Player of the Year in Serie A by his peers.

The Italy international received the award for the second consecutive year after another impressive campaign with the Turin giants.

"It's very important to receive the award because the ones that vote are my colleagues (the Italian Players' Association (AIC)," the 34-year-old Pirlo said to Gazzetta dello Sport. "This is the best."

Juve again dominated the awards as they were voted the team of the year, while Antonio Conte won the coach award after leading the club to back-to-back league titles.

"I thank my players," Conte said. "They are great men and fantastic athletes.

"We want to continue to shine.

"So far we have done extraordinary things in Serie A.

"We have to be patient in order to win in Europe."

Four Juve players - Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini, Arturo Vidal and Pirlo- were included in the team of the season.

Moreover, Juve striker Domenico Berardi, who is playing for a second straight season on loan at Sassuolo, was voted the best player in Serie B.

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was surprisingly left out of the Serie A team, with his Juve team-mates Vidal and Pirlo named alongside Fiorentina's Borja Valero.

AC Milan's Mario Balotelli was chosen as one of the best strikers in the league with Udinese's Antonio Di Natale and former Paris Saint-Germain forward Edison Cavani, who was last season's top scorer in Serie A with Napoli.