Pirlo and Buffon Named to EURO All-Time 11
UEFA announced the EURO all-time 11 today after 3.5 million votes were cast, naming NYCFC midfielder Andrea Pirlo to the team.
In 116 International appearances, Il Maestro lead the Italians to a World Cup victory in 2006 and a cinderella run to the EURO 2012 final. In Pirlo’s 2006 World Cup campaign, he won Man of the Match 3 times, more than any other player in the tournament. The awareness and composure Pirlo possessed with the ball at his feet separated him from every other midfielder in the world, and undoubtedly gave the Italians a chance to win every time they stepped on the pitch.
Despite Andrea Pirlo’s legendary performances over the years that electrified European soccer, it was not without the help of Gianluigi Buffon behind him. Pirlo and the rest of the Italians could not have accomplished what they did without the spectacular goalkeeping of Buffon, who was also named to the EURO all-time 11 team. In 153 appearances, Buffon delivered a whopping 70 clean sheet performances. Largely regarded as the best goalkeeper ever, he speaks very highly of his former teammate Andrea Pirlo, “Pirlo is a genius. Together with Baggio, I think he’s the greatest talent that Italian football has produced in the last 25 years.” Both Buffon and Pirlo played with one another on Juventus from 2011-2015, winning the Serie A title each one of those seasons. The duo also carried the club to a UEFA Champions League Final in 2015, being defeated by F.C. Barcelona in a heartbreaker.
Andrea Pirlo and Gianluigi Buffon were some of the most polarizing players of our generation, and the honor of making the EURO all-time 11 is well deserved. The two legends have formed an everlasting friendship over the years, and one that will last far beyond their last day on the pitch.
Buffon's Farewell letter to Pirlo (2015)
"Good luck, my friend. Good luck for your present and your future. Thank you for our past lives together. Thank you for the carefree hours spent together.
"Thank you for the tears of joy and sadness we cried, always supporting each other.
"Thank you for having taught me that sometimes in this sport people can make things, that most think impossible, become real.
"A friend is the most precious thing people can have, and the best thing people can be. I am sure about this first sentence and I live and hope for the second one."