Share via Email Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo. Pirlo v Nesta was a classic duel back in our Milanello days. Truly a life of sacrifice. Our head-to-heads were pure adrenaline.
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Share via Email Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo. Pirlo v Nesta was a classic duel back in our Milanello days.
Truly a life of sacrifice. Our head-to-heads were pure adrenaline. At least in terms of our manager we set out on a level footing. One day we thought about kidnapping him. The flesh and bones, real-life version that is. We thought better of our hostage-taking in the end. How the poor thing would have suffered. That very night at the Nou Camp, he whisked me away from my nearest and dearest. At the end of the game, everyone was on the trail of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a ticking timebomb of a madman who had been wound up by his agent the legendary Mino Raiola.
The Swede was set on a collision course with Barcelona and on the verge of signing for Milan. A few of my team-mates sought him out to try to encourage him to make the switch, while some of his friends from Barcelona were also on his case, armed with the opposite recommendation.
Taking advantage of the spotlight being momentarily trained not on him but Ibrahimovic, he invited me into his office. His task that night had turned him into a flip-flop wearing secret agent, but Manel Estiarte in a previous life had been the best water polo player of all time.
Only the second man in history capable of walking on water. The coach wants to meet you. In I went. The room was furnished in sober fashion and there was some red wine on the table. Guardiola was sitting in an armchair. He wore a white shirt and a pair of dark trousers whose colour matched that of his tie. He was elegant in the extreme, much like his conversation. I listened and, at most, nodded my head.
I was so taken aback by the summons that my reflexes had slowed. I was more dazed than excited: shaken by the situation, but in a really positive way. In the meantime, start making a few moves with them as well. Without even knowing, I was the object of some remarkable negotiations in the football luxury goods market.
Every year, players arrive from there ready to wear our shirt. Photograph: BackPage Press "Our champions are home-made; apart from you, that is. What we do is all very wonderful, but all very demanding, too. Sometimes winning can be draining. I want to coach you. At that time, they were the best team in the world — what more needs to be said?
A Rolex with Swatch batteries. Utterly refined, extremely long lasting. I was just about last on to the Milan team bus, but nobody took any notice. With their noses pressed up against the windows, lots of players were peering at the scene unfolding outside. Both curious and impressed, they watched Ibrahimovic walking his tightrope. At one end, Barcelona, and a fire that was dying out.
At the other, Milan, and a spark turning into a flame. We were heading in different directions, Ibrahimovic and I. The world knew all about his situation, but nothing about mine. I suppose it was always going to go like that. Back then, they still thought I had all my faculties and so they kept me, without ever getting involved in full-on negotiations.
There were words, brief chats, a little bit of back and forth, but nothing more substantial. He builds them, moulds them, guides them, berates them, nurtures them. He makes them great. He takes them to a higher level; a place beyond mere football. Being a philosopher is to think, seek wisdom and have principles that guide and influence what you do. Guardiola has taken all that and applied it to football, an imperfect science. He racked his brains and dispersed the fog, more through hard work than mere thought.
The football world is in mourning, but at least we have the memories. We thought it was only fitting that we revisit the lauded tome that has contributed to an entirely deserved cult of personality. This guy. Football v Sex Being part of a team that belongs to everyone makes me feel good.
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Club career[ edit ] — Early years and realisation of role[ edit ] Pirlo was born in Flero , Italy, in the province of Brescia. He was promoted by his coach Mircea Lucescu. Pirlo was unable to break into the first squad permanently, however, and Inter finished eighth in the —99 Serie A campaign. Milan[ edit ] — Domestic and European success[ edit ] After three seasons on the Inter books, Pirlo was sold to rivals A. Milan, in particular under manager Carlo Ancelotti , where Pirlo made big strides in developing into a world class player, and one of the best deep-lying playmakers and set-piece specialists in the world, as he went on to achieve notable domestic and international success during his time with the club. Pirlo later recalled the period he has spent in Milan with Ancelotti: "He changed my career, putting me in front of the defence. We shared some unforgettable moments.
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