Italian wizard Andrea Pirlo celebrated his 100th cap for Italy on Sunday with a brilliant free-kick goal in the Azzurri’s Confederations Cup opener versus Mexico in Rio de Janeiro.
In the 27th minute at the Estadio do Maracanã, Pirlo stepped up to claim a free kick about 30 yards from the Mexican goal.
The bearded wonder addressed the ball, approached it slowly yet confidently and struck it with his hallowed right foot.
The ball rose over the Mexico wall, quickly dipped down and swerved to the left and flew past helpless goalkeeper Jesus Corona into the corner of the net.
Now 34 years of age, Pirlo helped lead Juventus to the Serie A title this past season, and he is still widely recognized as one of the most brilliant midfielders in all of football.
And he showed it at the Maracana on Sunday.
Mexico equalized shortly thereafter on a penalty kick from Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, and the match was knotted at 1-1 after 45 minutes.
Italy got the winning goal in the 78th minute from Mario Balotelli and held on to secure a 2-1 victory.
For a full recap of the Confederations Cup match between Italy and Mexico, please follow along with Karl Matchett's official match blog.