The man, the myth, the uber-cool legend that is Andrea Pirlo has just announced plans to retire from International Football once the 2014 FIFA World Cup comes to a close in July.
The Italian 35-year-old is the fifth-most capped player in the history of the Italian national team with 109 caps. He has played for Italy at U15, U18 and U21 level, captaining and leading the latter to victory in the 2000 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship as the Golden Player and Top Scorer of the tournament.
He captained Italy to a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics and was victorious in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, finishing as the top assist provider. He is an epic force on the pitch and causes immense tactical headaches for opposing managers.
But more than all of that, more than the trophies, more than the accolades…Pirlo is just, hands down, the coolest man out there.
With his suave model looks, his love of wine, his unabashed willingness to hug and squeeze his teammates and his ability to be captured perfectly in almost every single photo ever taken of him, Andrea Pirlo is an epitome of ‘every woman wants to be with him, every man wants to be him’.
Younger, older, beard, no beard, hell even being accosted by media doesn’t seem to faze the man. And by the way, being able to pull off the wearing of a beanie without looking like a degenerate is a feat all by itself!
And it would seem that it’s not just us who have developed a weird love affair with the Italian maestro as thousands of fans regularly take to Twitter with their own take on how cool he is. Seriously though, anybody who can make that Hawaiian shirt looks good while standing next to a zebra-patterned safari jeep is a god damn genius!
Will that genius make it’s way to the football pitches of Brazil over the next weeks? Have no doubt about it and while we may adore him from afar and secretly try to grow our facial hair as a rather sad homage to the legend, our loyalty is firmly rooted in home soil so we won’t be loving him on Saturday, or at least for the 90 minutes he’s playing England!