Footballs a wonderful thing. Despite the many faults of the modern era ‘product’, and the growing chasm between the have’s and have nots, there is still a great deal of pleasure to be taken from our great game. That special goal, that pass, that impossible save, the underdog over coming the odds to win the day. These moments are cherished but they are fleeting. Enjoy them while they last.
Every now and again there is a player who gives you these moments time and time again, with every appearance, with every touch of the ball. Few players can fill a heart with such pure joy as Andreas Pirlo.
l’architetto controls the football field, building the game in front of him to his own vision. Rarely do footballers play the game with such grace, intelligence and foresight as Pirlo. Effortless yet ingrained with technique and ability.
He’s not the warrior like De Rossi, or have the engine and tenacity of Montolivo but he doesn’t need these qualities. He plays the game at his own pace and conducts the concerto around him to suit. From the base of midfield he makes Juventus and Italy tick. Seeing passes, seemingly an age before anyone else, he picks out his team mates with impossible accuracy. One of a dying breed of playmaker, he is truly a master of his position, and despite the deep lying nature of his natural habitat in midfield, defending is not at the forefront of his mind. There’s no last ditch tackles from il professore. Moving the ball, and his team forward is paramount.
A lack of pace may hamper the majority of players in the modern era, but not Pirlo. Most read the game as a Tolstoy novel, he reads it like a nursery rhyme.
At 34 Andreas’ swan song is fast approaching, and a great loss to Italian football it will be. Another Azzurri legend to add along side Maldini and Baresi et al, but all to often the word legend is banded around with flippant ease. But Pirlo truly is a legend, with a bulging trophy cabinet to boot. Genuinely one of the few special players of a generation his moments on the pitch should be embraced and savoured. And don’t get me started on that beard. A blessing to the game of football, we should be grateful to experience the brilliance of Andreas Pirlo.