Andrea Pirlo, Ufficiale OMRI (born 19 May 1979), is an Italian World Cup-winning footballer who plays for Serie A club Juventus and for the Italian national team. He is usually deployed as a deep-lying playmaker for both Juventus and Italy and is regarded as a leading exponent of this position. Praised for his technique, dribbling, control, incredible vision, inventive play and his accurate passing ability, he is also a set-piece specialist and is known for his long distance shooting and passing. Fellow players on the Italian team gave him the nickname “l’architetto” (the architect), because his long passes frequently set up goal-scoring opportunities for the Italy national football team.
Pirlo has played for the Italian youth teams U15, U18 and U21, 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 joined the Italian senior side during the qualification round for World Cup 2002 and captained the national team to a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics. Later, he was instrumental in their victory in the 2006 World Cup, finishing as the top assist provider. He was named man of the match three times, including the final, more than any other player in the tournament, and ultimately won the Bronze Ball (third best player in tournament) also being elected to be part of the Team of the Tournament. He was also elected as part of the Euro 2012 Team of the Tournament, after leading Italy to the final, winning three man of the match awards in the process, the most of any player along with Andrés Iniesta.
With Milan, he won two UEFA Champions League (2003 and 2007), two European Super Cups (2003 and 2007), two Serie A titles (2004 and 2011), a FIFA Club World Cup (2007) an Italian Super Cup (2004) and the Coppa Italia in 2003. In 2012, he added another Serie A title and Italian Super Cup with Juventus. He came in third and second in IFFHS World Playmaker of the Year awards in 2006 and 2007, respectively. He also came in fourth in the 2012 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. He placed 7th in the 2007 FIFA World Player and 5th in the 2007 Ballon d’Or and was named as part of the 2006 FIFPro World XI.