"Pirlo is a silent leader, he speaks with his feet." That is how coach Marcello Lippi defined one of the most brilliant midfielders who has ever played for the Azzurri national team.
Andrea Pirlo boasts of being one of the most influential players in the world of football in recent decades. His excellent vision, excellent assists and devilishly precise free-kicks made him a benchmark for his generation.
For some fans, Pirlo's Italy jersey from his debut has a special value, but others will keep the equipment used in the 2006 World Cup conquest. Without a doubt, the magic of the Professor, as he is popularly known, has been impressed in all of them.
In the following lines we will reveal some of the most interesting facts about the Pirlo shirt from Italy. You can't miss them!
What are the most interesting facts about Pirlo's Italy shirt?
As you will discover below, there are many facts and data that have made the shirt of Pirlo with Italy one of the maglias most desired by fans of the Azzurra team. Do you dare to discover them?
His debut with the national team...
Pirlo made his debut under Giovanni Trapattoni, replacing Filippo Inzaghi. It was on 7 September 2002, and the midfielder performed well, contributing to a 2-0 win over Azerbaijan in the UEFA EURO 2004 qualifiers.
Pirlo's first Italy jersey had a memorable design. It was one of the most beautiful outfits in living memory, with an intense blue shirt, white shorts and socks in the same blue as the shirt, with white numbers and the Kappa shield in the same colour.
... and his first goal with Italy
Although midfielders are not natural strikers, Andrea Pirlo accumulated a good number of goals at the end of his career. His first goal, however, took several years for the Azzurri to arrive on 30 May against Turkey in the run-up to UEFA EURO 2004 in Portugal.
Azzurra's most famous number 21
Pirlo's shirt for Italy would not be understood without the emblematic dorsal 21 of the Azzurri star.
The Italian legend explained, in his autobiography of 2013, that 21 is his favourite number for several reasons. "My father was born on the 21st. It's also the day I got married and made my Serie A debut.
"It became my shirt number from the beginning and I never left it. Even outside the national team, the Italian always wore the number 21 at Brescia Calcio, AC Milan, Juventus Turin and New York City FC.
2006: Pirlo's first and only world title
"I don't feel pressure. I don't care. I spent the afternoon of Sunday 9 July 2006 in Berlin sleeping and playing PlayStation. At night, I went out and won the World Cup. These words from Pirlo about the final of the 2006 World Cup show how much the Professor was made of another paste.
Italy's arrival at the final of that World Cup was marked by catenaccio, the defence elevated to the category of art. After beating Germany 2-0, in which Andrea Pirlo was crowned the Player of the Match, France postulated itself as the last obstacle in Italy's path to the world title. Italy would win on penalties after developing a relentless catenaccio.
Pirlo's jersey with Italy was completely blue, with dark blue shading on the armpits and golden details such as the dorsal and Puma's logo.
113 matches and overcoming Dino Zoff's record
Antonio Conte had a notable influence in the final stage of Andrea Pirlo, being the last coach to summon him with the Azzurra selection. On the occasion of the 2016 European Championship, the former Juventus coach summoned the Milan midfielder for a match on 10 October 2014.
Giacomo Bonaventura had been injured, so Pirlo agreed to replace him on that occasion, already immortal, as he played his 113th game with the Azurra team, beating another Italian football giant, Dino Zoff. Without a doubt, one of those feats within reach of very few!
2017: a giant's farewell
Farewells are always sad, so the shorter ones are the better. Pirlo's took place on September 3, 2015. The Italian team faced Malta in the World Cup qualifying rounds.
At the time, Pirlo was competing in the United States Major League Soccer at New York City FC. He wasn't the best Pirlo the tiffosi had enjoyed, but at least they were able to give him the ovation the mythical midfielder deserved.
That last Pirlo t-shirt from Italy had a design signed by Puma. Italy wore a blue shirt with a round neck in white very innovative, the shorts in white and blue socks with the top in white. The peculiar design of the bibs, very modernist, stands out.
The Professor was crucial in the 2006 World Cup victory for his team, not to mention his influence in Serie A throughout his professional career.
If you want to get your hands on this and other World Cup outfits, you'll find a host of vintage national team shirts at The Football Market.