England’s hopes of winning the World Cup this summer are unfortunately in tatters after losses to Italy and then Uruguay. One of the key men in plotting our demise was Italy’s classy play-maker Andrea Pirlo, his stylish play-making game proving too much for Roy’s boys in Brazil. Whilst we might not want to celebrate his footballing panache, we can instead recognise his ice-cool style off the pitch.
We do have a slim hope left for the competition, but we rely on Andrea and his men who include controversial striker Mario Balotelli to beat both Costa Rica and Uruguay to have even the slightest chance of qualifying for the knock-out rounds, so it is certainly in our best interests to support the influential Juventus midfielder.
He was won over 100 caps for his country and is now one of the more “mature” players- if you like- in the Italian squad. He is already a World Cup winner having won the tournament 8 years ago, one of only a few players left from that penalty shoot-out victory against France.
During a career littered with major trophies, he came through the ranks at Inter Milan before fulfilling his potential by moving to rivals AC Milan for a 10 year spell, winning both the Champion’s League and Italian league title twice, one of which avenged Liverpool’s famous 2005 comeback win in Istanbul by triumphing in a repeat 2007 final. In the mean time he won the World Cup with Italy in 2006 and just as people began to think his career was winding down in 2011, he made a controversial switch to Juventus and his since then reached his top form, winning the Italian league three years consecutively, performing as the best player in each of them.
At 35-years old, he is not one of the younger players around but he is known as a graceful player who swaps athletic power and youthful energy for craft and technical ability with the football at his feet. His reputation was summarised nicely after the World Cup game against England where he had sent a swerving free-kick into crashing into the bar, pundit in the studio Thierry Henry said: “Knowing Pirlo, he probably intended to hit the bar”, referring to the fact he has become known as the world’s most deadly set-piece kicker.
His credibility as a style icon has extended beyond the confines of his ability to caress the ball through opposing defences, thanks to an interesting background and private life as documented in his recent autobiography- philosophically titled: “I think, therefore I play”. Pirlo is the son of a wealthy businessman and allegedly maintains a share in the family steel company, coming from a middle-class family unlike many of the world’s top footballers who grew up playing on the streets. He also owns a vineyard in Italy which is known to produce thousands of bottles of wine a year and is himself a connoisseur- hardly the stereotypical footballer. His cult status grew significantly when he went from a clean cut teenage-look to the bearded-Trojan-warrior look overnight as it seemed, becoming the subject of football fan’s “beard envy” when he sported his thick mane alongside his new team colours at Juventus.
Pirlo has a very elegant, sophisticated and gentlemanly look, qualities which are exaggerated by his choice of tailored clothing. You may not be able to grow that trademark beard as well as him, but you can re-create his style fairly easily. Here we uncover the staples of his classic appearance:
Andrea Pirlo’s dressed down look:
Still managing to keep his air of elegance, he is rarely seen in public without the trustee shades. He has shown he can make a simple crew neck logo tee speak volumes by adding complimentary accessories and as you can see he isn’t all about shirts and chinos, he has the rare ability to make even the classic beach short and flip flops combination look like a sartorial masterpiece.
Pirlo’s dressed up look:
The Italian-stallion’s cool and collected persona perfectly suits the Oxford shirt and chino’s look which he has managed to give a casual twist by unbuttoning and adding the sunglasses. You can also see (below) that he not only knows the right time to add a blazer or tie to smarten up his act, but also how to use the likes of a belt, bag or watch to give this same look a different dimension.
To steal the look which makes Andrea stand out as a footballing style icon there is no better place to start with a fine quality shirt which you can use as casual or formal base to an outfit. Better still you could use his native brand Armani as a means of recreating the style. If you stick to the Italian label’s collection you’d be able to find a perfect pair of chinos and a travel bag which will play a big part in creating the aura which we all aspire to have; something of a chic Bond villain come Hollywood A-Lister in a glossy magazine type of look. You should be able to finish it off with a pair of retro styled sunglasses by Oakley, which strike the perfect blend between contemporary and vintage, just like the main man himself who some describe as “A Rolls Royce football player”.