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Andrea Pirlo

Andrea Pirlo

Andrea Pirlo (Italian pronunciation: [anˈdrɛːa ˈpirlo]) is an Italian football manager and former player who is currently the head coach of Serie B club Sampdoria. Considered one of the greatest midfielders of all-time, Pirlo was renowned for his vision, ball control, technique, creativity, passing, and free kick ability. Pirlo began his club career in 1995 as an attacking midfielder with hometown club Brescia, winning the Serie B in 1997. He signed for Serie A club Inter Milan a year later, but limited game time and loans away from the club saw him transfer to cross-city rivals AC Milan in 2001. There, Pirlo matured into a world-class player in a deep-lying playmaker role, and he then won two Serie A titles, two UEFA Champions Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups, a FIFA Club World Cup, a Coppa Italia, and a Supercoppa Italiana. He departed for Juventus in 2011, where he won four consecutive Serie A titles, two Supercoppa Italiana titles, and another Coppa Italia. In 2015, Pirlo joined Major League Soccer (MLS) club New York City FC, where he played for two years before retiring in 2017. At international level, Pirlo played 116 matches for the Italy national football team, which is the fifth-most of all time. He made his senior debut in 2002, and captained his nation to a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics. Pirlo was instrumental in Italy's triumph at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, winning the Bronze Ball and being elected to the Team of the Tournament. He repeated similar success as he led Italy to the UEFA Euro 2012 final. Pirlo also represented his country at the 2004 and 2008 UEFA European Championships, the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, and the 2009 and 2013 FIFA Confederations Cups. Pirlo finished in the top four five times in the IFFHS World's Best Playmaker award between 2006 and 2015. He placed fourth for UEFA Best Player in Europe in 2011, and seventh in 2015. He was named Serie A Footballer of the Year three times and voted to the Serie A Team of the Year four times. Pirlo was elected to UEFA Team of the Year in 2012, the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season in 2015, and was part of the FIFPro World XI in 2006. He also placed seventh for the 2007 FIFA World Player, finished in the top ten three times for the Ballon d'Or, and was named an MLS All-Star in 2016. In 2019, Pirlo was elected into the Italian Football Hall of Fame. Following his retirement, Pirlo was appointed as head coach at Serie C club Juventus U23 on 30 July 2020. He took charge of the first team nine days later, and won the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana in his debut season, before being dismissed in 2021.
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