Hodgson knows the player well from his time at Inter Milan and admits it was a challenge to keep the playmaker quiet.
He said: "He was very good wasn't he? I've worked with him in the past and I know what a very good player he is. He seemed to always find time and room and very rarely wasted a pass.
"We worked hard to keep him in check but obviously a player of that quality you can only keep in check to a certain extent. He will find a way of getting the ball even though you get people around him."