The Playstation? After The Wheel, The Best Invention Of All Time
The freekicks, the pin-point passing and THAT panenka penalty, news of Andrea Pirlo’s retirement has rightfully so seen accolades come in from all over the globe. His rating in the latest edition of Fifa was a blunt barometer of his abilities.
Pace: 33. Defence: 46. Physical: 50. However Pirlo’s magic was Cerebral, his brain a footballing supercomputer, Like Magnus Carlsen the Norweigan Chess Grandmaster Pirlo had the uncanny ability to anticipate moves three shots ahead, to find a pocket of space which had not yet been opened. From here with the ball at his feet came the second half of his genius. A youtube video “Pirlo with jazz” epitomises this perfectly.
The ‘Regista’ is a position possibly unfamilliar in the English game but players like Xavi, Xabi Alonso and the crown prince of the position Pirlo have flown the flag in the past decade. In Italian it means ‘director’ and this is what Pirlo was the best at. Dictating the tempo of the offensive team plus passing and free kick taking with the grace of God.
Pirlo had a charm off the pitch aswell a football hipster in his latter years his instagram a vision of wineries and facial hair rather than supercars and superclubs. Interviews ranged from delightful to absurd but none containing the cookie-cutter soundbites of most professionals around him.
Pre-match warm-ups? "Nothing but masturbation for conditioning coaches," he wrote in his autobiography.
The Playstation? "After the wheel, the best invention of all time."
Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek after the 2005 Champions League final? "That jackass of a dancer, who took the mickey out of us."
He loved the game - once reasoning it is better than sex as "it lasts longer and if it falls flat, it can't just be your fault" - but only the game.
Andrea Pirlo was the epitomy of cool on and off the pitch, he was the last of his kind in more ways than one showing that there is still room in the beautiful game for artists his impact and legacy will long live on, after all No Pirlo, No Party.