italy-nt

2

Woso players & their male comparison

Homare Sawa - Andrea Pirlo

The gist: 

The ageless wonders, the conductors of the whole orchestra.

Longer reason:

You’d be hard pressed to find two players who have meant more to their teams than Sawa & Pirlo. Two of the most respected & decorated players, Sawa & Pirlo have led their clubs to titles & their countries to World Cup glory. 

At age 36, Sawa became the only one of two players to participate in 6 World Cup’s along with Brazil’s Formiga. While the 2015 World Cup didn’t end the way Sawa wished it did, she got a top 3 finish once again in the last three major tournaments (11, 15 WWC & 12 Olympics), along with the 2011 Ballon D’or. Her biggest moment coming in 2011, when Japan emerged and took out favorites Germany & USA to win the 2011 edition of the World Cup. Down 2-1 to USWNT late in the game, Sawa scored with 3 minutes left in extra time to take it to penalties, where Japan completed one of the biggest wins in World Cup history.

At age 36, Pirlo is as valuable to his teams as he ever was. Having just played in the 14/15 Champions League final, Pirlo continues to prove that age is just a number for him. While players similar in age like Gerrard had a drastic dip in quality, & Lampard & Giggs found their playing time lessen more and more as they went up in age, Pirlo has still remained one of the best midfielders in the world & a permanent starting 11 player. With great performances in many tournaments, his biggest moment came in 2006 when he was a key part of Italy’s 2006 World Cup win. In the final, down 1-0, Pirlo assisted the goal to tie the game. Italy eventually won the World Cup on penalties.

Without Sawa & Pirlo on the pitch, their teams play differently. Their style doesn’t scream out for attention, but rather quietly pull the strings the entire time. There is no hall of fame for world football, but if there were, they would be welcome from day one.