Even at 33 years old, there can be little doubt that Italy and Juventus’ Andrea Pirlo is the world’s best deep-lying midfield playmaker. A World Cup-winner with Italy and two-time Champions League-winner with AC Milan, Pirlo is revered the world over for his stunning range of passing, creativity and deadly set-pieces.
Pirlo was born in the northern-most Italian region of Lombardy, and began his career at Brescia before he was scouted and recruited by Inter Milan as a youngster. After struggling to make an impact at Inter, Pirlo moved to Inter’s bitter rivals AC Milan in 2001.
It was at Milan that Pirlo began to develop into a world class player. Pirlo was the creative hub in Milan’s midfield for ten seasons, winning the Champions League in 2003 and 2007, and the Scudetto title in 2003-04 and 2010-11. In between his Champions League wins, he was also influential in helping Italy lift the 2006 World Cup. He was the tournament’s top assist provider, scored a crucial penalty in the shootout in the final against France and was awarded the Bronze Ball, as the tournament’s third-best player.
At the end of the 2010-11 season Pirlo and Milan agreed to part ways, paving the way for the midfielder to join Juventus on a free transfer. It has proved an inspired piece of business for the Old Lady, as Pirlo has enjoyed something of a renaissance at Juve. He was named Serie A Player of the Year by Italian sports journalists in 2011-12, inspiring Juventus to the Serie A title.
The elegant midfielder was the top assists provider in Serie A last season, with 13 in 37 appearances. He also scored three goals, and was named in the Serie A Team of the Year. “I always believed I was number one and I believe I have demonstrated it again this season,” he declared.
Pirlo remains ever-present for Italy. Manager Cesare Prandelli’s team revolves around him, and he has been a key feature of the Azzurri’s Euro 2012 squad. Andrea is one of the finest players to have represented his country in recent years, and we are delighted to stock his personally signed Italy and Juventus shirts.