Italians of course know all about Pirlo and those of us who do not watch Serie A or indeed keep up with each and every game of the Italian national side have seen flashes of the midfielder and indeed marvelled at him in games where we have been privileged enough to watch him excel.
To watch Pirlo live is another joy altogether. The player is magnificent. The time he creates on the ball, the positions he takes up and the movements he makes are something to behold. To suggest broadcasters install a ‘Pirlo camera’ just to track the movements of the Juventus star is not a bad idea by half.
If you did not care much about the result of a game Pirlo was playing in or indeed many of the other players, to keep your focus solely on him for 90 minutes is something everyone should try at least once.
Players who have played with or against the midfielder will tell you just how good he is – and those lucky enough to have the joy of watching him up close week in week out are in no doubt. In no uncertain terms, Pirlo is the best they have seen. So gifted is the player that put him in the goal, he could probably do you a job – and look pretty classy, beard and all, whilst doing so.
Pundits and the media will also wax lyrical about the Italian and in an age where one good season can get a bandwagon rolling on how a player is ‘world class’ or indeed a ‘legend,’ Pirlo actually is one. Without a shadow of a doubt. He is sublime.
A good player sometimes does not win the trophies he ‘deserves’ to – just ask Steven Gerrard – but a great player very rarely ends a career without at least one trophy of note to his name. Luckily for Pirlo, he has quite a few.
Not only has he been decorated in terms of his domestic titles in Serie A, he has also been blessed with the Italian national side, being instrumental in their successes and World Cup win over the years.
The likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta have been lauded – rightly so – over the last decade as masters in the middle of the park, and all too often people have lavished superlatives on the Barcelona duo and forgotten to talk about Pirlo.
Perhaps it is the fact that he plays his trade in Serie A and we seem far more focused on the Premier League and La Liga, perhaps it is the fact that the player himself is understated, does not seek out media attention and is a gentleman on and off the field. Either way it is a crying shame.
Fortuitously for us, we are reminded just how skilled the man who pulls the strings is during his time in the Azzurri shirt for his country and it regularly astounds the people who know the player well just how much the English seem to go on about Pirlo and his performance in those games. They have simply come to both accept and expect it.
The stats – which can so often be misleading – only confirm what we already knew. Pirlo is a footballing God. His trophy haul only further serves to add to just how good he actually is – especially when in possession of the ball.
In fact, rare is the occasion in which he can be described as even having a bad game. It just does not happen. A misplaced pass by the Italian is worthy of a national enquiry and fortunately for the Italians, that is an event they have to conduct few and far between.
No matter how you look at it, Pirlo is a star. He is more than just a star, he is one of the stars that has shone brightest in the sky over the last couple of decades and when said star finally stops twinkling it will be a sad day for everyone involved in the game make no mistake.
How highly do you rate Pirlo? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet us @LaFootyettes.