AKA...........'The Poster Boy of Everything good and bad and ugly about Serie A'
When Serie A and Italian football is on top of the world inevitably Pirlo gets a nod in the FIFA World Player or Ballon D'Or running. When Serie A is in the toilet, likewise Pirlo's reputation suffers. Why? Because the man impersonates alot of the charactistics of Serie A.
He is slow, languid, postioned defensively and while some parts of his game, like long passing and set pieces are top class, every other part of his game ranges from mediocore to rubbish. He even plays for a club that has a typical Italian attitude to match-fixing and politic-ing too.
From a technical standpoint he, like Carrick for Man U, and Xabi Alonso for Liverpool, is lacking in the close quarters technique that any complete midfielder should have in being able to navigate and create space in the middle of the park for his team. This means one must have a bulldog like Gattuso beside him or a magician like Kaka further up the pitch to make up for what should be provided in one player.
Thus he stoutly maintains himself 20 yards back from the battle in front of the back four, rarely busting a gut to get into the oppostion box. But even as a DM he lacks the work-rate (or more cyncially, the physique) to break up oppostition play either.
When Ancelotti pushed Pirlo further back on the pitch after Inter sold him, he did it because it was a recognition of his weaknesses, not his strengths.
Unlike Xabi Alonso, who gets the recognition he deserves (as a better version of Pirlo) and Carrick who gets hardly any recognition (which he deserves), Pirlo gets too much recognition.