AC Milan's reconstruction is about to begin.
Board member Barbara Berlusconi, daughter of owner Silvio, has declared her hope of weeding out the older Milan players in hopes of bringing in several young stars to fulfill her father's dream of returning to Champions League glory.
Milan have eight players over 30 whose contracts expire on June 30th, with only a couple expected to remain.
Andrea Pirlo will not be one of those couple.
According to Il Corriere Dello Sport, the famous midfielder will be taking his services to Juventus where he has reportedly agreed to a three year contract with the Bianconeri.
Pirlo's career began at his local club, Brescia, and he has remained in Lombardy for pretty much his entire career. He joined Inter Milan in 1998, but spent most of his time on loan at Reggina and Brescia. His move to Milan came in 2001 for around €18 million.
He has failed to disappoint and has been a key member of the Rossoneri for nearly 10 years. His accomplishments include two Scudettos, an Italian Cup, an Italian Super Cup, two Champions League titles, two UEFA Super Cups and a Club World Cup triumph—as well as the opportunity to wear the captain's armband on several occasions in recent years for Milan.
His play at Milan earned him a spot in the Italian National Team squad, for whom he has made 72 appearances with nine goals and a FIFA World Cup victory in 2006, during which he scored in the final shootout with France.
He also appeared in the 2010 World Cup, but only as a reserve in the final Group Stage match due to injury. He has often been captain of Cesare Prandelli's squad in recent appearances.
Pirlo has long been a world renowned free kick specialist. His role on free kicks at Milan has often been taken by Zlatan Ibrahimovic this season, but Pirlo's free kicks are among the best in the world.
In recent seasons, he has been most beloved by Milan fans for his amazing long range goals at opportune times. He equalized a Champions League match against Real Madrid in 2009 at the Santiago Bernabeu on a long range snipe which baffled Iker Casillas who dove too late.
It tied the match 1-1 and Milan went on to their most famous win of the season, 3-2. In 2010-11, he fired a long range screamer early in the season which even Casillas could not have gotten to. Milan won that game 1-0 against Parma.
Pirlo will certainly be missed, but his move is for the betterment of the club. The 31-year-old has been oft-injured this season and on top of that, Massimiliano Allegri has made it known that he is in search in of a player with more defensive qualities than Pirlo.
For an injury-prone player that the manager does not see in his system, re-signing him and paying him several million dollars makes no sense.
Reports in Europe have Alberto Aquilani, Andrea Poli, and Andrea Lazzari, among others, as possible replacements for Pirlo.
The World Cup winner will have a few good seasons at Juventus, who are looking to return to prominence as they have recently struggled to even make the Europa League. However, his career will always be remembered for his play at AC Milan.