Celtic captain Scott Brown admires Juventus maestro Andrea Pirlo

CONFIDENT: Scott Brown
CONFIDENT: Scott Brown
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Skipper Scott Brown is hoping Andrea Pirlo is at last beginning to slow down as he prepares to meet the Juventus star in the first-leg of Celtic’s Champions League last-16 clash.

The Scotland international has faced the 33-year-old Italian ace on international duty and for Celtic against AC Milan.

When reflecting on those previous tussles, Brown, 27, is hoping that father time may give him and his Hoops team mates the edge against Pirlo.

The Hoops midfielder smiled when asked about the Italy ace: “In my opinion he is one of the greats.

“It has been hard when I have played against him but he is getting that bit older now and hopefully we can catch him

“He is fantastic and we need to try to stop him from playing.

“He is the main threat and his ability on the ball is second to none.”

And manager Neil Lennon says his side believe they have a chance.

“There is a real belief, anything can happen over two games.

“We go into the tie as underdogs but nothing is going to be decided at the end of 90 minutes tomorrow night, it is over two games and we are prepared to play hard football over 180 minutes.

“They have excellent strikers - Mirko Vucinic, Fabio Quagliarella and Sebastian Giovinco, .

“But Alessandro Matri, he looks an excellent young player.”

“They are very strong in midfield. Arturo Vidal is playing very well currently, Paul Pogba and Claudio Marchisio, these are class players including Andrea Pirlo who is still one of the finest midfield players in the world.”