Having recently looked at where Francesco Totti ranks among Italian football’s finest-ever strikers, the spotlight now falls upon another modern-day great still gracing the pitches of Serie A. For over a decade, Andrea Pirlo has strolled around the centre of midfield, comfortably the league’s best player in that position.
While other central midfielders run tirelessly and chase down opponents, the 34-year-old plays at his own pace, with unparalleled vision and passing ability. Able to create chances his peers could barely comprehend, Pirlo has the ability to make them look almost routine, all with the nonchalant style of a truly iconic player.
But judging his place historically is difficult—such is the wide variety of players filling the midfield area over the years—so for this ranking, only central midfielders are counted. On the following pages you will find the top 20 of all time, chosen in order of their impact on their own club and Italian football in general.