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Pirlo voted Serie A's finest as Juve lead awards

Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo, 34, spoke of his pride in being recognised by his peers after he was named Serie A's best player for the second successive season.

Andrea Pirlo was named Serie A's finest for a second time
Andrea Pirlo was named Serie A's finest for a second time ©AFP/Getty Images

Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo was named Serie A's player of 2012/13 at Monday's Gran Gala del Calcio, organised by the Association of Italian Footballers (ACI).

"I really value this award because my footballing colleagues vote and it's very nice to be selected by your peers," the 34-year-old Italian international said after receiving the award for the second consecutive year. "They do the same job as me and they see better than anybody else what happens on the pitch."

Pirlo and Juventus team-mates Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini and Arturo Vidal were selected in the team of the season, voted by the Italian top-flight's players, coaches, referees, current and former Italy coaches and selected journalists. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon finished second behind FC Internazionale Milano's Samir Handanovič, who received his award from Giorgio Marchetti, UEFA director of competitions.

Juventus boss Antonio Conte, who led La Vecchia Signora to a second consecutive Scudetto, was again named best coach. "I thank the players I have had the privilege of coaching these past three years," Conte said. "We had a long-term project but results came much sooner than expected. We won in the first season, we won in the second and now we want a third Scudetto in a row. We also have a plan for Europe. We need more patience but we have strength and ideas to do well."

Forward Domenico Berardi was named Serie B young player of the season after helping US Sassuolo Calcio earn promotion; he has already scored 12 goals in 16 games in his maiden top-flight campaign. Nicola Rizzoli, who oversaw the UEFA Champions League final last May, was voted as best referee. Italy winger Melania Gabbiadini was hailed as the best women's player for the second consecutive year.

Serie A team of 2012/13 (4-3-3)
Samir Handanovič (FC Internazionale Milano); Christian Maggio (SSC Napoli), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Mattia De Sciglio (AC Milan); Arturo Vidal (Juventus), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Borja Valero (ACF Fiorentina); Edinson Cavani (SSC Napoli, now Paris Saint-Germain), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese Calcio), Mario Balotelli (AC Milan).