Just like a fine Italian cheese, Andrea Pirlo is getting better with age. The Italian who was just named the 2013 Serie A player of the year is also known as ‘L’architetto’ or the architect because of his control, touch, technique, vision and also his long range passing ability. Pirlo is no stranger to success. The 34-year-old can simply be defined by one word; ‘legend’.
Pirlo has already won all the trophies at the club level including the European Champions League and was crowned World Champion with Italy at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. The career of Andrea Pirlo is an inspiration for all the young players and his grace, modesty and charisma is something which is admired by every football fan.
Pirlo has enjoyed a late career resurgence with Juventus, brining silverware back to the Old Lady in his first season. He has also proved to be an invaluable midfield mentor for Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal, who are on the way to becoming world class midfielders just like Pirlo. There has never been a difference in opinion whenever it came to the greatness and class of the Italian maestro. Who can forget his famous Panenka penalty agfainst England at Euro 2012?
The 34-year-old midfielder won the Bronze Ball with Italy in Germany at the grandest stage of all, the FIFA World Cup. Through his magnificent performances, the Azzuri won the tournament against all odds.
Not only that, in the World Cup qualifier against Scotland, the former AC Milan man netted two free kicks to ensure Italy’s place in the finals. Pirlo is the kind of player who plays less with his feet and body and more with heart. In Italy’s first match of the 2006 world Cup against Ghana, the midfielder opened the scoring and also provided an assist and was named Man of the Match. In the next match he provided a vital assist to Gilardino that resulted in a 1-1 dealock against the United States. In the semi-finals of the tournament, Italy met Germany, where the hosts were strong favorites.
The Juventus star was again named Man of the Match for controlling the game and creating the opening goal in the 2-0 victory. Then came the grand finale of the biggest tournament in the world. Pirlo held his nerve throughout the game and his brilliance in the game was rewarded by yet another Man of the Match prize. He took the corner-kick in which Marco Materazzi headed home to equalize France’s one goal lead. He even scored a penalty in the shoot-out which determined the Championship. Pirlo was named in the 2006 FIFPro XI and was also included in the team of the tournament.