Andrea Pirlo will be remembered as one of the best footballers of the 21st century – and undoubtedly one of the most popular too.
Pirlo won six Serie A titles, two Champions Leagues, two Coppa Italias and the World Cup during an incredible career, but he will be remembered equally as much for his style both on and off the pitch.
As someone who once described pre-match warm-ups as “nothing but masturbation for conditioning coaches”, Pirlo has always been reliable for a good quote or two, but we’ve collated some of the best things ever said about the Italian over the years.
“When Andrea told me that he was joining us, the first thing I thought was: ‘God exists.’”
“If he is on song, everything else just falls into place.”
“Pirlo is a silent leader. He speaks with his feet.”
Daniele De Rossi
“Pirlo has touched my soul because we played with each other for over 10 years.”
“His start of play has marked an entire generation.”
“To pass the ball to Andrea Pirlo is like to hide it in a safe.”
“He allows you to dream when he has the ball at his feet.”
“Only a genius has such intuition. Pirlo is football for us.”
“He is a champion who will remain in our hearts forever.”
“Pirlo’s got feet of gold.”
“His vision, what he can do with the ball, and what he’s able to create, make him a true superstar. Andrea has something which you don’t see very often.”
“A footballer in capital letters, spectacular. There is no player in the world right now that shares Pirlo’s talent. We played at all levels before finally meeting as professionals, when he was playing for Italy, Milan and now Juventus. I have always been a fan and admirer of Pirlo.”
Michael Cox, writer
“Is he the best player of his generation? Not quite, but he is the most important.”
“A player of his level and ability, not to mention that he was free, I think it was the signing of the century!”
“He is a player of another world.”
“I don’t feel pressure … I don’t give a toss about it. I spent the afternoon of Sunday, 9 July, 2006 in Berlin sleeping and playing the PlayStation. In the evening, I went out and won the World Cup.”