Andrea Pirlo, Cavaliere Ufficiale OMRI, (born May 19, 1979 in Flero, Lombardy), is an Italian World Cup and Champions League winning footballer who currently plays for Serie A club A.C. Milan and the Italian national team.
Pirlo was born into a Sinti gipsy family in the province of Brescia, where his father owns two ironworks. His brother Ivan plays for a Serie C2 club in Brescia.
He played for hometown Brescia Calcio (1994-98 and 2001), Internazionale (1998-99 and 2000), Reggina Calcio (1999-2000) and now plays for AC Milan (2001-Present). With Milan, he won one Scudetto and two Champions League titles. He also won an Italian Cup and 2UEFA Super Cups with Milan in 2003 and 2007.
Pirlo started his career as an offensive midfielder until coach Carlo Ancelotti developed for him a deep-seated playmaking role at A.C. Milan. He led Milan in minutes played for the 2006-07 season with 2,782. In October 2007, he was nominated for the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year Award.
Pirlo played for Italy at the 2000 Summer Olympics, won the bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics, played at the Euro 2004 and won the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Pirlo captained Italy to an Under-21 European Championship in 2000.
Pirlo was a member of the Italian Squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. In Italy’s first match in the tournament, Pirlo scored the opening goal against Ghana, and subsequently set up a goal for Vincenzo Iaquinta to seal the 2-0 victory. He was named the “Man of the Match”.
Pirlo played brilliantly throughout the semifinal against Germany, and he ultimately fashioned a key play at the very end of extra time to give Italy a dramatic victory. At the 119th minute, Pirlo received a ball deflected just outside the German penalty area and kept possession for just enough time to provide a defence splitting assist to Fabio Grosso, who scored the opening goal. Moments later, Alessandro Del Piero scored again, Italy won 2-0, and Pirlo was named Man of the Match once again.
In the final against France, his corner kick produced Marco Materazzi’s equalizing header ten minutes after France had opened the score. The match went to a penalty shoot-out, in which he scored. His performance during the match resulted in his being named the FIFA Man of the Match for a third time, more than any other player over the course of the tournament. He was voted the third best player of the tournament behind Zinedine Zidane and Fabio Cannavaro.
Pirlo struck the first goal, a 25th minute penalty, in the Italians 2-0 victory over France in their final game of the group stages of Euro 2008 on June 17. During this game Pirlo picked up his second yellow card of the tournament. As a result he was suspended for the quarter final against Spain.
* Serie A
o Winner: 2004
o Runner-up: 2005
* Coppa Italia: 2003
* Supercoppa Italiana: 2004
* UEFA Champions League
o Winner: 2003, 2007
o Runner-up: 2005
* UEFA Super Cup: 2003, 2007
* FIFA Club World Cup: 2007
* Intercontinental Cup (runner-up): 2003
* FIFA World Cup: 2006
* UEFA Under-21 European Championship: 2000
* 2004 Olympic Bronze Medal
* 2006 FIFA World Cup Team of the Tournament
* FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball Award: 2006
* 2006 FIFA World Cup Final Man of the Match
* 2000 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Top Scorer
* FIFPro World XI: 2006