Andrea Pirlo joined AC Milan in 2001 and would go on to become one of the finest holding midfielders in the history of the game winning every single conceivable trophy with the club in his ten years at the club. Pirlo would also lead Italy to their 2006 World Cup win where he slotted away the opening penalty in the final shootout.
One of Pirlo’s nicknames was Metronome and I believe this best captured his essence as a footballer as he set and maintained the rhythm of the game. Pirlo was literally the most composed player on the ball allowing himself the necessary time to think and execute unbelievably beautiful passes that unlocked every single team he faced. Carlo Ancelotti once remarked, “Pirlo spots a pass in a split-second that lesser players could spend a whole lifetime waiting to see.” Pirlo was an indispensable part of the Milan squads who won 2 Champions League titles and 2 Scudetti as he composed the play and most attacks started with him. He formed formidable partnerships with Seedorf, Gattuso and Kaka in this period as well as sharing responsibility with Ambrosini and these midfields carried Milan to success.
Achievements with Milan
- Serie A: 2003–04, 2010–11
- UEFA Champions League: 2002–03, 2006–07
- Coppa Italia: 2002–03
- Supercoppa Italiana: 2004
- UEFA Super Cup: 2003, 2007
- FIFA Club World Cup: 2007
One of my favourite activities is to watch Andrea Pirlo compilations whilst listening to Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata and it somehow lines up wonderfully. But one of my favourite Pirlo memories comes not from his usual displays of elegance but from a moment of agitation where he let loose to score a beauty against Parma for a 1-0 win in Milan’s 2010-11 run to the Scudetto. Watch the highlight of his screamer here or below.