When Italian legend Andrea Pirlo signed with NYCFC on July 6, the team gained one of the most technically gifted midfielders around. Maybe more importantly, the club gained one of the coolest human beings alive.
To love the 36-year-old Serie A alum’s style on the pitch is to love only half the man’s gifts. Following his exploits around New York, whether with the team or not, promises hours of entertainment.
The epitome of the unruffled, impossibly stylish playboy, Pirlo basically IS the Most Interesting Man in the World. Here’s why:
Pirlo grew a luxurious, thick facial covering before the beard craze became a thing.
There’s a definitive moment when Pirlo really turned from a clean-faced prodigy into an international man of mystery: It’s when he first appeared with the full expression of his trademark thick, but never scraggly, beard. This was around August 2012; ever since, he's left less-gifted facial hair-growers crying in his dust.
He doesn’t sweat unless he absolutely has to (like on the field, maybe).
We can start with his attire at last month's New York vs. New York derby at Yankee Stadium. While mere mortals cooked in their own rank humidity, Pirlo sported a slim-fit, crisp white button-down and apparently never broke a shine. At an outdoor sporting event. In the summer.
He does interviews pretty much however he wants to, including in a goblin mask.
This appears to have been around Halloween time, but otherwise, there’s no real extra context for the getup in this video. Pirlo never breaks goblin character either, because again, he’s ice cold.
Not only does he own a vineyard, but you’ll never catch up to his wine connoisseur level because he’s been taste-testing from childhood.
Here’s an amazing news video showing Pirlo calmly sniffing, swishing, and sipping his way around his own private vineyard, because of course he has one. His mom shows up to explain why you will never reach Pirlo’s wine-loving level – she fed it to him as a child. What kind? She doesn’t say; let’s imagine a fine chianti or something.
He rocked a shirt festooned with a slogan about himself, and nobody made fun of him.
“No Pirlo, No Party,” eh? That takes serious swag – especially considering Pirlo wore that in public after Italy got knocked out of last year’s World Cup. It’s true, though – is it really a party if you don’t have a majestically bearded, wine-loving Italian there to be unimpressed? (It also calls to mind this very 1970s moment of joyous hubris for Arnold Schwarzenegger, from the movie “Pumping Iron.”)
Pirlo met the Pope, and the Pope looked more ruffled over the celebrity sighting than the athlete did.
Look at Pope Francis's face while he’s flanked by Pirlo on the right, and Pirlo’s then-Juventus teammate and BFF, Gianluigi Buffon, on the left.
But because this is Pirlo, that's not even the first Pope he's met – that would be John Paul II, who basked in Pirlo's glow in 2003.
Even fans of opposing teams give him standing ovations.
This has happened multiple times – Pirlo draws standing ovations from fans of teams against which he’s playing. During this year’s recent Champions League semifinals in Europe, Real Madrid fans cheered for him when his time in the game finished up.
A couple of years before that, Pirlo scored such a beautiful goal against Madrid, that the Madridistas also had to, quite simply as fans of the sport, give it up. Here’s a video.
Your move, everyone else on this planet.