Pirlo Andrea

Andrea Pirlo is an Italian professional footballer. Pirlo is usually deployed as a deep-lying playmaker in midfield for both his club and national sides, and he is widely regarded as one of the greatest ever exponents of this position, due to his vision, ball control, creativity and passing ability; he is also a free-kick specialist. Pirlo began his club career as an attacking midfielder with his home-town side Brescia, where he later helped the team to win the Serie B title and obtain Serie A promotion in 1997. His promising performances led to a move to Internazionale in 1998, but he struggled to gain playing time at his new club, due to his lack of pace, as well as heavy competition with other players in his position, and was subsequently sent on loan in 1999. Despite successful spells with Reggina, and Brescia once again, Pirlo was still unable to break into Inter’s starting line-up, and was sold to cross-city rivals Milan in 2001. At Milan, manager Carlo Ancelotti decided to shift Pirlo in front of the defence as a deep-lying playmaker, which allowed him more time on the ball to orchestrate his team’s attacks. Pirlo excelled in his new role, and soon developed into a world-class midfielder, playing a key role in Milan’s subsequent successes, as he won two UEFA Champions Leagues (2003 and 2007), two UEFA Super Cups (2003 and 2007), two Serie A titles (2004 and 2011), a FIFA Club World Cup (2007), a Supercoppa Italiana (2004), and a Coppa Italia (2003) with the club. After joining Juventus on a free transfer in 2011, who had gone trophyless since 2003, he added four more Serie A titles (2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015), which he won consecutively, as well as two Supercoppa Italiana titles (2012 and 2013), and a Coppa Italia (2015). After playing in Italy for over 20 seasons, Pirlo joined MLS expansion side New York City FC in 2015, helping the team to reach the playoffs in his second season. At international level, Pirlo is the fourth-most capped player in the history of the Italian national team with 116 caps. He has played for the Italian youth teams at U15, U18 and U21 level, captaining and leading the latter to victory in the 2000 UEFA European Under-21 Championship as the Golden Player and Top Scorer of the tournament. He joined the Italian senior side in September 2002 and captained the Olympic team to a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics. Later, he was instrumental in their victory in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He was named Man of the Match three times, including the final, more than any other player in the tournament, and ultimately won the Bronze Ball (awarded to the third best player of the tournament) also being elected to the Team of the Tournament. He was also elected as part of the UEFA Euro 2012 Team of the Tournament, after leading Italy to the final, winning three Man of the Match awards in the process, the most of any player along with Andrés Iniesta. He has also represented the Italian senior side at the 2004 and 2008 UEFA European Championships, the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, and the 2009 and 2013 FIFA Confederations Cups, finishing third in the latter edition in Brazil, where he was also elected to the Team of the Tournament. Pirlo came in third, second, fourth, and third twice more in the IFFHS World Playmaker of the Year awards in 2006, 2007, 2012, 2013, and 2015, respectively. He placed fourth in the 2012 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, and seventh in the 2015 edition. He placed 7th in the 2007 FIFA World Player, 5th in the 2007 Ballon d’Or and 7th in the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or award. He was also named as part of the 2006 FIFPro World XI and the 2012 UEFA Team of the Year. In 2012, 2013, and 2014, Pirlo was also elected as Serie A Footballer of the Year, and was also named as part of the Serie A team of the Year. After helping Juventus to the 2015 UEFA Champions League Final, he was named to the squad of the season. In 2012, Pirlo was named the eighth best footballer in the World by The Guardian, and in 2013, Bloomberg ranked him the fifth best player in Europe. In 2015, France Football rated him as one of the 10 best footballers in the world who are over the age of 36.


ITALY NATIONAL TEAM


U-21


Euro 2000


Match Worn Shirt


Did you Know?

Pirlo captained Italy to an Under-21 European Championship in 2000, wearing the number 10 jersey, and winning the awards for best player and top scorer of the tournament with three goals; he scored both goals – one from a penalty and the other from a free kick – in Italy’s 2–1 victory over Czech Republic in the final. He also led the Italy Under-21 side to a semi-final finish in the 2002 edition of the tournament. Pirlo played for Italy at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, scoring a goal in Italy’s 1–0 opening win over hosts Australia on 13 September; he also helped Italy win the bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. With 46 matches and 16 goals, Pirlo is the record appearance holder for the Italian U-21 side, and the second highest goal-scorer after Alberto Gilardino.

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Pirlo was born in Flero, Italy, in the province of Brescia. He began his career with the Flero youth side, later moving to Voluntas, and subsequently joined the youth sector of local club Brescia in 1994, where he initially played predominantly as a supporting forward. In 1995, at the age of 16, Pirlo made his Serie A debut for Brescia against Reggiana, on 21 May, becoming Brescia’s youngest player to make an appearance in Serie A. He was promoted by his coach Mircea Lucescu. The following season, he did not appear with the senior team, although he was able to capture the Torneo di Viareggio with the youth side. After breaking into the Brescia first team during the 1996–97 Serie B season, he helped the club to gain Serie A promotion the following season by winning the Serie B title. He scored his first goal in Serie A during the 1997–98 season, in a 4–0 home win over Vicenza on 19 October 1997.


MILAN A.C.


2001-2002


Match Worn Shirt

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2001-2002 was the first Andrea Pirlo’s season with Milan A.C. Pirlo made his Milan debut on 20 September 2001, in a 2–0 win over BATE Borisov in the UEFA Cup, after coming on for Massimo Donati. During his first season with the club, he helped the team to a fourth-place finish UEFA Champions League qualification spot, also reaching the semi-final of the UEFA Cup, the club’s best ever result in the competition. On 30 March 2002, he scored his first goal with Milan in a 3–1 home win over Parma, from a free-kick. At Milan, manager Carlo Ancelotti decided to shift Pirlo in front of the defence as a deep-lying playmaker, which allowed him more time on the ball to orchestrate his team’s attacks. Pirlo excelled in his new role, and soon developed into a world-class midfielder, playing a key role in Milan’s subsequent successes, as he won two UEFA Champions Leagues (2003 and 2007), two UEFA Super Cups (2003 and 2007), two Serie A titles (2004 and 2011), a FIFA Club World Cup (2007), a Supercoppa Italiana (2004), and a Coppa Italia (2003) with the club.

Things to Know:

Tactically, Pirlo is capable of playing in several midfield positions, but is usually deployed by his club and national sides as a central midfielder, in the role of a deep-lying playmaker, due to his vision and passing accuracy. A highly technical and creative player, Pirlo is regarded by players, managers, and pundits as one of the greatest ever players in his position, as one of the best midfielders in the world and of his generation, and as one of the greatest Italian players of all time. He started his career in a more advanced role, as an offensive midfielder, and also played as a supporting striker on occasion. Although he was considered a talented young prospect, even drawing comparisons with former Italian footballer Gianni Rivera, Pirlo occasionally struggled in this role, due to his lack of pace, and competition from other talented and more dynamic players in his position. Because of this, he was later moved to a deep-lying playmaker role by his coaches Mazzone, Fatih Terim, and Ancelotti, where he was able to excel due to his unique capabilities. This position best utilises Pirlo’s attributes, and allows him to operate creatively from a deeper position, in or even behind the main midfield line, in a seemingly defensive midfield role, where he is allowed more time on the ball to create scoring opportunities with long balls. During his final season with Milan, Pirlo was also used on the wing under Allegri, due to his ability to provide accurate crosses. Although not gifted with pace, stamina, physicality or notable defensive skills, work-rate, or tackling abilities, Pirlo is known for his composure in possession, and has been praised for his touch, technique, balance, close control, and dribbling ability, as well as his flair and creativity in beating players with feints during one-on-one situations, in order to retain the ball and create space. As a playmaker, he is highly regarded by pundits for his outstanding vision, awareness, and football intelligence, as well as his movement, inventive play, anticipation, ability to read the game, and his wide range of distribution, which enables him to play the ball first time and rarely relinquish possession, even when put under pressure; in addition to being capable of playing precise, short exchanges to teammates, he is also known for frequently attempting riskier and more difficult passes and is renowned in particular for his extremely accurate long-range passing, both on the ground or in the air, with either foot, despite being naturally right footed. He is considered to be one of the best passers in the history of the sport, and is also known for his accurate striking ability from distance. These characteristics allow him to contribute to his team’s offensive play with goals and assists. Pirlo is a set piece and penalty-kick specialist. He is regarded as one of the best free-kick takers in the world, and has been praised by pundits for his versatility, and ability to both score and create chances from dead-ball situations. He is extremely effective at curling shots accurately on target from close range, a technique which he perfected by studying Baggio in training sessions during their time at Brescia together. Pirlo is also capable of scoring from long-range free-kicks with swerve and power, due to his unique technique, which was inspired by Juninho’s “knuckle ball” free-kicks. Pirlo has scored the highest number of free-kicks in Serie A, alongside Siniša Mihajlović.


ITALY NATIONAL TEAM 


2003-2004


Italy vs Czech Republic


Match Worn Shirt


Did you Know?

Pirlo made his Italy senior debut on the 7 September 2002 under Giovanni Trapattoni, at the age of 23 in a 2–0 away win over Azerbaijan in a Euro 2004 qualifying match; he also appeared in a friendly match in Pescara against Turkey on 20 November, later that year, which ended in a 1–1 draw. Pirlo scored his first goal for Italy from a free-kick in a 4–0 away win in a friendly match against Tunisia. His first major tournament with the Italian senior team was UEFA Euro 2004 under Giovanni Trapattoni, where he made two appearances in Italy’s last two group matches: the first in a 1–1 draw against Sweden, and the second in a 2–1 win over Bulgaria. The Italian team was eliminated in the first round, on direct encounters, following a three-way five point tie with Sweden and Denmark.

“When Andrea told me that he was joining us, the first thing I thought was: “God exists”. A player of his level and ability, not to mention that he was free, I think it was the signing of the century” Gianluigi Buffon

“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” Andrea Pirlo


ITALY NATIONAL TEAM


Fifa World Cup “GERMANY 2006”


Match Worn Shirt


Did you Know?

Under Trapattoni’s replacement, Marcello Lippi, Pirlo became a key member of Italy’s starting line-up during their 2006 World Cup Qualifying campaign, and he was eventually called up as a starting member of the Italian squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.[165] On 26 March 2005, he assured Italy’s participation in the tournament after scoring from two free kicks in a 2–0 win against Scotland in a World Cup Qualifier. Pirlo was named to Italy’s 23-man squad for the 2006 World Cup, and appeared in all of Italy’s matches at the tournament, playing 668 minutes in total. In Italy’s first match of the tournament on 12 June, Pirlo scored the opening goal against Ghana, and subsequently helped set up a goal for Vincenzo Iaquinta to seal a 2–0 victory, as the midfielder was named Man of the Match. In the second match on 17 June, he set up a diving header for Alberto Gilardino from a set piece which proved to be vital in the 1–1 draw against the United States. In the semi-final against Germany on 4 July, he assisted Fabio Grosso’s opening goal in the dying minutes of extra-time, and was again named Man of the Match, as Italy triumphed 2–0 over the hosts.[171] In the final against France on 9 July, his corner kick produced Marco Materazzi’s equalizing header ten minutes after France had opened the scoring with a Zinedine Zidane penalty. Following a 1–1 deadlock after extra-time, the match went to a penalty shoot-out, in which he scored the first spot kick, helping Italy to win the title. Pirlo formed a formidable midfield partnership with Milan teammate Gennaro Gattuso, and he completed 475 passes out of 580 attempted throughout the tournament, while also winning 18 challenges. After the final, he was named Man of the Match for a third time, winning more Man of the Match Awards than any other player in the tournament. Pirlo was voted the third-best player of the tournament, winning the Bronze Ball,[ and he finished the victorious World Cup campaign as the top assist provider along with teammate Francesco Totti, as well as Juan Román Riquelme, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Luís Figo. He was named as part of the 2006 FIFPro XI and as part of the 2006 World Cup Team of the Tournament for his performances, placing ninth in both the 2006 Ballon d’Or and the 2006 FIFA World Player of the Year Awards.

Match Worn Shin Pads


Fifa World Cup “GERMANY 2006”


Italy National Team


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Fellow players on the Italian national team have nicknamed Pirlo l’architetto (“the Architect”), because of the way in which he builds plays, and sets up goal-scoring opportunities with long, lobbed through passes. In recent years, Juventus fans also dubbed him il professore (“the professor”), Maestro, and Mozart, as a reference to the Austrian composer’s prodigious ability. Pirlo was also frequently compared to fellow former Milan and Italy legend Demetrio Albertini early in his Milan career, due to their similar characteristics and style of play. Pirlo was often thought to be Albertini’s heir for Milan and the national side; he inherited his nickname the metronome whilst playing at Milan, for the way in which he influenced games by controlling the tempo of his team’s play through his direct and efficient passing game in midfield, as well as his ability to make himself available to teammates to receive and distribute the ball.

“Andrea has demonstrated all his great talent and worth. When we played together, everything started with him. He always had the great gift of being able to visualize and anticipate plays before everyone else. 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” Roberto Baggio

Did you Know?

This shirt was worn by Andrea Pirlo during the first half of the Serie A’s game between A.C.Milan and Catania which took place in Milan, “Giuseppe Meazza” Stadium on December 20th 2006. Milan defeated Catania 3-0 and the shirt was swapped with a Catania’s player who we got it from. In the 2006-2007 season Pirlo led Milan in minutes played for with 2,782 across 52 appearances, as he went on to win his second UEFA Champions League title with Milan, also helping his team to a fourth-place finish in Serie A, and another Coppa Italia semi-final. In the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final against Manchester United, Pirlo set up Seedorf’s goal, as Milan progressed on to the final. In the 2007 UEFA Champions League Final in Athens, Pirlo assisted Inzaghi’s first goal from a free kick, helping Milan to defeat Liverpool 2–1, avenging their 2005 final defeat in Istanbul


MILAN A.C.


2006-2007


Milan vs Catania


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ITALY NATIONAL TEAM


2009-2010


Italy vs Mexico


Match Worn Shirt


Did you Know?

Pirlo wore this shirt against Mexico on June 3th 2010, the last friendly game of Italy National Team before the Fifa World Cup “South Africa 2010”. During this game he got injured and on June 4th he left Italy Team’s headquarter in Sestriere (Italy) and ready to quit his participation to the World Cup. Just few hours before the team flew to South Africa, manager Marcello Lippi decided to include Pirlo in the official World Cup player’s list even if had to skip some games of the group stage. Pirlo was not able to play the first two games. He came off the bench for Italy late in the match on 24 June against Slovakia. Even with his help in orchestrating a renewed Italian offense, Pirlo could not prevent Italy from being knocked out of the first round.


JUVENTUS F.C.


2011-2012


Match Worn Shirt


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Following Pirlo’s departure from Milan in 2011, Juventus signed him on a free transfer on a contract until 2014. His debut with Juventus was in a friendly match against Sporting CP, which they lost 2–1. His first competitive match with Juventus was the 2011–12 Serie A opening match against Parma at home, in which he tallied two assists, for Stephan Lichtsteiner and Claudio Marchisio – the latter of which was the first ever goal in the Juventus Stadium –, and completed 110 passes in a 4–1 victory. Antonio Conte played him alongside younger midfielders Marchisio and new signing Arturo Vidal in a three-man midfield, which allowed Pirlo to function creatively as a deep-lying playmaker, while Marchisio and Vidal supported him defensively. Pirlo’s first goal for Juventus was a free kick against Catania on 18 February 2012 securing a 3–1 victory for Juventus and put the club back at the top of the Serie A table, above his former club Milan. On 18 March, Pirlo scored in a 5–0 demolition of Fiorentina and after the game dedicated the win to Fabrice Muamba, who suffered a cardiac arrest playing for Bolton Wanderers during a match against Tottenham Hotspur the same day. Pirlo finished the season by winning the 2011–12 Serie A title, after helping Juventus to secure a 2–0 victory over Cagliari. He provided the most assists in the Serie A that season, with 13, and he also found the back of the net three times in the league. Pirlo created over 100 chances and completed 2643 passes that season, with an 87% pass completion rate, completing 500 more passes than any other player in Serie A; the only player in the world to have completed more passes than him that season was Xavi. Due to his performances throughout the season, and his key role in leading Juventus to their first Serie A title in nine years, he was named to the Serie A Team of the Year, along with his Juventus midfielder partner Vidal. Pirlo and Juventus also finished runners up to Napoli in the Coppa Italia final that season. Pirlo’s fine form in the 2011–12 season, in which he led Juventus to the league title, the Supercoppa Italiana and Coppa Italia Final, as well as leading Italy to the final of Euro 2012, saw him nominated for the 2012 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, in which he finished 4th. He was also elected to be part of the 2012 ESM Team of the Year and the 2012 UEFA Team of the Year.

JUVENTUS F.C.


2012-2013


Champions League


Celtic vs Juventus


Match Worn Shirt


Did you Know?

This shirt was worn by Andrea Pirlo during the Champions League between Celtic and Juventus which took place in Glasgow, “Celtic Park”, on February 12th 2013. Juventus defeated Celtic 3-0. This style of Champions League shirt was used by the team in this game only. In 2012 Andrea Pirlo placed seventh in the FIFA Ballon d’Or. Pirlo and Juventus retained their Serie A title that season. 

The plastic tape used to cover the three stars on chest, shaped to follow the shirt’s design.

JUVENTUS F.C.


2012-2013


Match Worn Shirt


Did you Know?

Pirlo was elected the 2012 Serie A Footballer of the Year, as well as the best midfielder of the season, also winning the 2012 Guerin d’Oro. He was named as part of the 2012 Serie A team of the Year for his performances. Pirlo also won the Pallone Azzurro, given to the best player of the year in the Italian National Team, as well as placing fourth in the IFFHS World’s Best Playmaker of the Year Award.

Match Worn Boots


Milan A.C.Italy National Team

“Pirlo spots a pass in a split-second that lesser players could spend a whole lifetime waiting to see” – Carlo Ancelotti

“Pirlo is a genius. Together with Baggio, I think he’s the greatest talent that Italian football has produced in the last 25 years” – Gianluigi Buffon

Did you Know?

Pirlo was the only Italian player to be nominated for the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or, and was also nominated for the 2013 FIFPro World XI.

JUVENTUS F.C.


2013-2014


Champions League


Match Worn Shirt

“Pirlo can make his feet do whatever he wants. He’s a genius” Johan Cruyff

JUVENTUS F.C.


2013-2014


Champions League


Copenaghen vs Juventus


Match Worn Unwashed & Signed Shorts


Did you Know?

In the 2013-2014 season Pirlo featured in Juventus’s 4–0 win against Lazio in the Supercoppa Italiana, on 18 August 2013, at the Stadio Olimpico, in Rome. Pirlo helped to create Paul Pogba’s opening goal in the twenty-third minute of play.[117] Pirlo was the only Italian player to be nominated for the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or, and was also nominated for the 2013 FIFPro World XI. On 1 December, Pirlo sustained a knee-ligament injury which would keep him off the field for over a month. On 12 January 2014, Pirlo signed a new contract with Juventus, which will keep him at the club until 2016. On 27 January, Pirlo was named Serie A Footballer of the Year for a second consecutive time, and was once again included in the Serie A Team of the Year. Juventus won their 30th league title that season with a record 102 points and 33 victories; this was also their third consecutive title since Pirlo’s arrival. Juventus also reached the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia, losing out to Roma. The Turin club suffered a group stage elimination in the Champions League, however, but managed a semi-final finish in the Europa League, losing out to Benfica, with Pirlo scoring a match winning goal from a free kick in the round of 16 against Fiorentina. Pirlo was chosen to be part of the 2013–14 Europa League Team of the Season, for his performances in the competition.

Italy vs Mexico


June 16th 2013


Andrea Pirlo’s 100th Cap with Italy National Team


Match Worn Boots


Italy National Team


Did you Know?

These boots were issued for Andrea Pirlo for his 100th cap with Italy National Team that took place in Rio de Janeiro – Maracana Stadium – on June 16th 2013, in the Confederation Cup 2013 game against Mexico. Pirlo made his debut against Azerbaijan on September 7th 2002. Boots have both dates embroidered. The Azerbaijan’s player’s debut and the 100th cap against Mexico. One curious thing is that these Nike Tiempo are a 2012 colorway, and Pirlo wore them in 2012 with Juventus F.C. and Italy National team, but the game against Mexico was in 2013 while Pirlo was wearing the regular 2013’s colorway, but his sponsor (Nike) supplied an older model to commemorate Pirlo’s 100th Cap because of the sky blue color that is also Italy Team’s shirt color. Pirlo at the end wore these boots for pre match training only and he wore his regular white model keeping these commemorative sky blue boots in his private collection where we got them from. In this Confederation Cup’s opening game, Pirlo scored the first goal with a trademark free kick. Italy won 2-1 and the player was voted “Man of the Match”

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Watch Pirlo’s free kick goal on his 100th with Italy National Team

Match Worn Shin Pads


Fifa World Cup “BRASIL 2014”


Italy National Team


Things to Know:

Pirlo scored one goal during Italy’s qualification campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which saw them top their group, undefeated. Pirlo converted a penalty as Italy dispatched Armenia by a score of 3–1 on 12 October 2012, and assisted several goals during the World Cup qualifying campaign. On 5 June 2014, Pirlo was selected by Italy manager Prandelli as part of his 23-man squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. On 12 June, Pirlo announced that he would retire from international football following the tournament. In the 2014 World Cup, Italy were placed in Group D, along with Costa Rica, England and Uruguay, in what was called the “Group of Death”. On 14 June, in Italy’s opening match against England, Pirlo wore the captain’s armband due to Buffon’s last minute injury. The match ended with a 2–1 win to Italy. Pirlo heavily contributed to Italy’s win, controlling the flow of the game, and setting up several goalscoring chances, as Italy dominated possession. During the match, Pirlo made 108 passes in total, only misplacing five, with a pass completion rate of 95.4%, completing the most passes of any other player in the previous opening matches of the 2014 World Cup. With a 93.2 pass percentage, Italy also managed to record the highest pass accuracy percentage of any team in a World Cup match since Denmark in the 1966 World Cup, completing 561 of their 602 passes.[citation needed] Pirlo also contributed to Italy’s first goal of the match: Antonio Candreva’s short corner was played to Marco Verratti, who then passed the ball out wide towards Pirlo, who drew his marker with him. Pirlo let the ball pass in between his legs to Marchisio, leaving him with space to score with a low drive from outside the area. Pirlo also managed to hit the crossbar from a swerving free kick in injury time. Italy suffered 1–0 defeats in both of their remaining matches against Costa Rica and Uruguay, however and were eliminated in the group stage for the second consecutive World Cup, finishing in a disappointing third place in their group, behind Costa Rica and Uruguay. Pirlo’s appearance against Uruguay was his 112th cap for Italy, which allowed him to equal Dino Zoff’s number of appearances for the Italian national team, and made him the fourth most capped player for the Italian national team. The Italian squad and manager, Cesare Prandelli, were criticised for over-relying on Pirlo to create goalscoring chances. Although Pirlo was able to set up some goal scoring opportunities and did test the opposition goalkeepers with some dangerous free kicks in the final two group games, his performances were stifled by the defensive pressure of the opposition, and he was much less dominant than he had been in the opening match against England. Although he had previously communicated his intention to retire after the World Cup, he stated, upon his return to Italy, that he would still be available to play for the national team.

Did you Know?

These shin pads were used by Andrea Pirlo during the Fifa World Cup “BRASIL 2014”. They were created by the cartoonist Valerio Marini along with some other Italy Team’s players. Marini took the essential features of each player and released a special cartoon representing them. These shin pads represent Andrea Pirlo as team’s surveyor while he is setting the center field. Very few pairs were released and they were all auctioned after the World Cup for a good cause.

ITALY NATIONAL TEAM


Euro 2016 Qualifying Game


Italy vs Malta


Match Worn Shirt


Did you Know?

Despite previously announcing his international retirement following the 2014 World Cup, Pirlo reversed his decision, and under new Italy manager, and Pirlo’s former Juventus manager Antonio Conte, Pirlo returned to the Italian squad. On 10 October 2014, Pirlo started in Italy’s second Euro 2016 qualifying match, which ended in a 2–1 home win over Azerbaijan, overtaking Zoff with his 113th appearance for Italy. Pirlo assisted Chiellini’s first goal of the match from a corner kick. In August 2015, Pirlo was called for Italy’s Euro 2016 qualifying matches against Malta and Bulgaria in September; he appeared in Italy’s 1–0 home victory over Malta on 3 September, becoming the first MLS player to represent Italy. In total, Pirlo made four appearances under Conte, as Italy qualified for Euro 2016 on 10 October in a 3–1 win over Azerbaijan. On 23 May 2016, Pirlo, along with fellow MLS compatriot Giovinco, was left off of Conte’s 30-player shortlist for Italy’s Euro 2016 squad. Regarding their omission, Conte commented in a press conference: “When you make a certain choice and go to play in certain leagues, you do so taking it into account that they could pay the consequences from a footballing viewpoint”.[ In response to Conte’s comments, Pirlo stated to Sky Italia: “I have spoken to Conte and there is no disappointment on my part, he knows what he has to do and what he should not do. We had discussions during the season and both parties made their own decisions. He is the coach and it’s only right he makes his decisions and decides what is best for him. I hope Italy win although the favourites are other teams such as Germany, Spain and France.”

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On 6 July 2015, it was announced that Pirlo had completed a move to MLS expansion club New York City FC as their third Designated Player. In doing so, he became the highest paid Italian player in all leagues with an $8 million salary, until Graziano Pellè moved to Chinese club Shandong Luneng the following year. He made his debut with the club on 26 July 2015 at Yankee Stadium in New York against Orlando City, coming on as a substitute in the 56th minute; he was involved in his team’s third and fourth goals and was booked in the 88th minute as New York won the match 5–3. He made his first start for New York on 1 August, in a 2–3 home defeat to the Montreal Impact.

Did you Know?

Pirlo is one of two children along with his brother Ivan. Pirlo and his wife Deborah Roversi married in 2001 and have two children: son Niccolò (born 2003) and daughter Angela (born 2006). In 2014, Pirlo and Roversi divorced after thirteen years of marriage, following Pirlo’s affair with Valentina Baldini, a woman he met at his golf club. Pirlo’s father founded a metal trading company in Brescia in 1982 called Elg Steel. Pirlo himself retains a stake in the family business. With regard to his wealth from his family business and footballing career, Pirlo stated in an interview with Italian Vanity Fair magazine that he never talks about money. Pirlo is known for being a wine connoisseur and he also runs his own vineyard in Italy, which produces around 15–20,000 bottles a year.In July 2016, it was reported that Pirlo’s jersey was the highest-selling MLS shirt in 2016.

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After struggling with persisting physical problems for most of the 2017 MLS season, on 8 October 2017, Pirlo announced that he would retire from professional football at the end of the season;in total, he was limited to only 15 appearances and two assists during the 2017 MLS regular season. He made his final professional appearance on 5 November, coming on as a 90th minute substitute in a 2–0 home win over Columbus Crew, in the second leg of the 2017 MLS Cup Eastern Conference Semi-finals; New York were eliminated from the Playoffs following a 4–3 aggregate loss.In total, Pirlo made 62 appearances for New York – 60 of which came in the MLS regular season, with the other two coming in the MLS Cup Playoffs – over the course of his three seasons with the club, scoring one goal and providing 18 assists, all of which came during the MLS regular season. Pirlo officially communicated his retirement from professional football the following day, on Twitter.