Pirlo: The End Of An Era
Fans are mourning the end of an era for Italian football, after midfielder Andrea Pirlo announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 35. The midfielder is a true legend of the game, having played for the three biggest teams in the Italian game.
Pirlo started his career off at Brescia, back in 1992, where he made his name and secured a move to giants Internazionale, from the capital Milan for £5.5m in 1998. He failed in the black and blue of the Nerazzurri, making just 22 appearances in three years at the Giuseppe Meazza. He also had loan spells at Reggina and former club Brescia. He may have failed at Inter, but it was at his next club where he really shone.
After failing at Inter, Pirlo made the shock move across Milan to big rivals AC Milan for £10.75m in 2001, where he stayed for ten years, and making over 280 appearances for the Rossonneri and winning several trophies. He was part of two Serie A wins and two UEFA Champions League, as well as being on the receiving end of Liverpool's famous comeback in Istanbul in 2005, where Milan were leading by three goals at half time, before throwing it away in the second half, and losing the final on penalties. He left Milan at the end of the 2010-11 season, and joining Milan's rivals Juventus on a free transfer.
He stayed in Turin for the final three years of his career, making 54 appearances in the last three seasons. He only made six last season, in Juventus' title-winning campaign, and has decided that it is time to call time on his wonderful career.
He has spoken of his desire to remain in football, favorably as an assistant manager. Rumours in Italy say that former club AC Milan want to appoint him as an assistant to their youth team manager. Whether these rumours have any substance to them remains to be seen, however Matthaus has set about revamping his backroom staff at the San Siro, including signing Sporting Lisbon legend Liedson as a coach. It is clear Pirlo would be valued as part of this backroom team in Milan.