Greats Of The Game - Andrea Pirlo, Midfielder
Usually deployed as a deep-lying playmaker in midfield for both his club and national sides, Pirlo 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.
Despite successful spells with Reggina, Pirlo was unable to break into Inter’s starting lineup, 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.