Andrea PirloThe Architect’s Perspective
Born in Flero, Italy, on 19th May 1979, Andre Pirlo, nicknamed l'architetto (‘the architect’), is a living legend of Italian football. One of the most iconic and cultured playmakers of recent generations, he has enjoyed a football renaissance in the twilight of his career.
Having served as an integral part of AC Milan’s midfield for over decade, he began to feel that he was becoming surplus to requirements. It was mutually agreed that his contract would not be renewed, and on 14 May 2011, he made his last appearance for the Rossoneri.
In the same year that he left Milan, Pirlo agreed to join Juventus as a free agent. Despite being 32, the old maestro became a leader of the glorious 'La Vecchia Signora' squad, and has won the Scudetto twice since his move to Turin.
One of the key aspects of his game has been his incredible vision and exquisite creativity, which allows him to read and see the game in ways that most fail. His sharp, acute perspective allows him to envision and execute passing moves that can easily bend and reshape opposing team formations – be it a simple sidestep a 180 degree turn or an immaculate pass.
Pirlo helped Italy reached the final of the European Championships in 2012, where they eventually lost out to Spain. His performances, especially the game against England in the quarter final, drew many plaudits, and he was promptly hailed as one of the finest midfielders in the world.
With over 100 appearances for his country, a feat achieved only by Dino Zoff, Gianluigi Buffon, Paolo Maldini and Fabio Cannavaro; he recently announced that he will be retiring from international football after the Brazil 2014 World Cup finals. Only time will tell if he can lead the blue of La Squadra to a fifth World Cup victory in his final campaign.
Andrea Pirlo comes from a time when football was still lauded as an art form, a man who loves football and everything it encompasses. He is a great example for younger generations, and deserves to be remembered for years to come as one of the games' greats.
“Pirlo doesn’t just kick the ball. He caresses it. He makes slow, sensual and really emotional love to it.”