Pirlo inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame: "It’s an honour to be part of it"The former Azzurri midfielder, a 2006 World champion, enters the 'Hall of Fame' in the 'Italian Player' category
Monday, March 14, 2022
"I'm delighted to join the Hall of Fame, it’s a great honour." Andrea Pirlo welcomed his entry into the most prestigious group in Italian football. His induction was actually announced in February two years ago but, due to the pandemic, he'll have to wait until May to receive the award. He'll have to offer an heirloom from his extraordinary career: "I still don't know what I'll bring," stated the former Azzurri midfielder. "I'll choose from the shirts, footballs and other items at home. The Football Museum is a marvellous place where we can all relive past emotions, and the hope is that new trophies can be added to the collection." Pirlo has won almost everything that there is to win in the game: in his trophy cabinet, there are two Champions League titles, a Club World Cup, two UEFA Super Cups, six Scudetti and two Italian Cups following his spells with AC Milan and Juventus. But it was with the National Team that he won the greatest prize: the 2006 World Cup, alongside four fellow members of the 'Hall of Fame' in the 'Italian Player' category.
Teammates and friends of a thousand battles in Alessandro Del Piero, Francesco Totti, Fabio Cannavaro and Alessandro Nesta. Nesta himself is a new face in the 'Hall of Fame', joining three other important figures in Pirlo's career: "Alessandro is one of my best friends. I spent so many unforgettable years with him, also sharing the decision to retire when we did. With Antonio Conte as coach, I was part of a fantastic adventure. We enjoyed a good relationship and we speak on the phone every now and then. It’s the same with Gabriele Oriali, with whom I shared a great experience, first at Inter and then in the National Team." Then there’s Carlo Mazzone: "He was the one that changed my role at Brescia, so I will always be grateful to him for this."
At Brescia, Andrea showed his talent from a very young age. He blossomed thanks to the coach from Trastevere, who decided to deploy him as a deep-lying playmaker in front of the defence, forming an excellent understanding on the pitch with Roberto Baggio. From there, Pirlo took off, becoming a truly outstanding regista, first at AC Milan and then at Juventus. He assumed a leading role in the National Team, where he had already won a European title with the Under-21 team in 2000 (a decisive brace in the final against the Czech Republic) before winning bronze at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
He finished his illustrious playing career with 116 appearances and 13 goals for Italy. Alongside Daniele De Rossi and Mario Balotelli, he is one of the three Italian players to have scored at least one goal in each of the three main football competitions played by the National Team (World Cup, European Championship and Confederations Cup). He also scored Italy's first goal in the legendary rollercoaster ride in the World Cup in Germany. Now, after the Azzurri failed to qualify for Russia 2018, he's hopeful that he'll see Italy back at the World Cup: "It's a fundamental objective for all Italians," he said when speaking about the upcoming playoffs. "I'll cheer and hope with all my heart that we do enough to make it to Qatar."