The Genius of Andrea Pirlo in Illustrations and Artwork
Andrea Pirlo has been one of the most beautiful players to watch in recent history.
His majestic posture when in possession of the ball and the effortless way in which he glides from one side of the pitch to the other is a pleasure to witness.
The full range of passing that the 34-year-old showcases leaves you breathless at times, expertly changing the trajectory or the spin placed on the ball.
Here are just a few examples to demonstrate the sublime skill of one of the greatest players ever.
Pirlo has defined a position during his career and made it his own in some of the greatest teams that have ever played the game.
The fact that nobody can replace Pirlo in a side show what a risk it can be to build a side around him, but the advantages of possessing a player who is capable of creating a masterpiece on the pitch makes it all worthwhile.
This piece in the slide is by Dan Leydon, who has one of the best football illustration blogs around.
Killing the Opposition with a Thousand Passes
Andrea Pirlo can take your breath away in one moment, or he can gradually rip the soul out of the opposition by controlling a match by setting the tempo to suit himself.
Against Euro 2012, the Azzurri thoroughly dominated England and Pirlo was at the heart of everything, virtually toying with the Three Lions at times with his total control of the football.
Capable of a Golazo
This is an example of how Pirlo is able to score in ways that others simply cannot in the same manner.
From such a long way from goal, usually players have to use excessive power, but Pirlo's timing and technique make him able to manipulate the ball's flight and pace.
The sheer audacity to even think he could score from such a distance is mind blowing, yet Pirlo doesn't just shoot, he places it with precision to silence the Stadio Ennio Tardini.
Dead Ball Genius
Another of Pirlo's trademarks is his ability to score from a set piece.
By scoring dozens of free-kicks during his career, Pirlo has built a legacy as one of the game's most deadly dead ball specialists.
Trophy Cabinet Filled with Honours
Andrea Pirlo's style is not the only reason he is one of the all-time greats.
Having been a significant part of sides that won the biggest prizes in the sport is also a feather in his cap.
The World Cup, multiple Champions League triumphs and a litany of scudetti are firmly in the Pirlo trophy cabinet and compliment his status as a legend.
This illustration is by Daniel Nyari.
Like a Fine Wine
Pirlo has often been described as a fine wine, as he appears to be getting better with age.
After Milan controversially dumped him after failing to come to terms on a new contract, Pirlo signed a three-year contract with Juventus and proceeded to produce a series of sensational performances.
Pirlo has picked up two scudetti, while Milan are now languishing amongst the pack of sides scrapping to even qualify for the Champions League.
Longevity on the international stage was also prevelent in 2012 where he starred for the Azzurri as they reached the final.
One last hurrah at the World Cup in Brazil next summer could provide a fitting end to a legendary international career.
This illustration is also by Daniel Nyari.
This magnificent illustration of Andrea Pirlo is by the great Stanley Chow.
This, crucially, is of a younger Pirlo, who is yet to add a key facial feature that incredibly enhanced his style even more.
Another illustration by Mr. Chow, this time with that wonderful facial hair that has become so iconic in recent years.
Pirlo has brought back the beard as a fashion statement and makes him look ultra cool.
Angles That Others Just Do Not See
Pirlo is known for being able to spot a pass that others cannot.
This is part of his mystique, taking your breath away by pushing the boundaries to the limit with the flight and spin of the ball.
This pass against Brazil was cruelly taken away from us by the linesman, but it is still worth looking at, as it gives an example of how Pirlo can dissect the opposition's with one look up and a swift stroke with his boot like a paint brush.
Willing to Try the Audacious
Pirlo's legend is partly down to his ability to perform exceptionally difficult skills at times when the pressure is at its highest.
Against England at Euro 2012, Pirlo was audacious enough to perform a Panenka during a penalty shoot-out to deceive Joe Hart and make thousands of hearts skip a beat during that split second as fans registered what had just took place.