"When I see Pirlo playing I wonder if I can really be considered a footballer." As Andrea Pirlo departs Juventus, we select the best things that have been said about him.
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Italy playmaker Andrea Pirlo looks to have bid farewell to Europe after ending a four-year spell at Juventus to begin a new adventure with New York City FC. Twice a European Cup winner with AC Milan and a Serie A champion for the last five seasons, the midfield maestro has earned the admiration of the footballing world during his magnificent career. Here is what people have to say about him.
When I see Pirlo playing, when I see him with the ball, I wonder if I can really be considered a footballer.
Gennaro Gattuso, his former AC Milan team-mate
Andrea is unique, I can compare him only to Xavi.
Cesare Prandelli, his former Italy coach
He is fantastic player. He has a great vision of the game, he can put the ball where he wants. Playing with the mind is very important in this sport. If you don't use your mind, the legs are not enough.
Johan Cruyff, three-time European Cup winner with AFC Ajax
I feel happy every time I see Pirlo play. He seems ageless. Milan really gave a fantastic gift to Juventus.
Fabio Capello, his former Milan coach
Playing with Pirlo is fantastic; every day you learn something from him. He's been a top player for many years. When you look at him you just want to be like him.
Paul Pogba, his former Juventus team-mate
In terms of movement, creativity and aptitude for keeping it simple, Pirlo is the player most like [Michel] Platini.
Giovanni Trapattoni, his former Italy coach
Pirlo is a silent leader: he speaks with his feet. He is a champion and he is able to adapt himself to any tactical situation. He has class, intelligence and personality. He knows how to be crucial for any team.
Marcello Lippi, his former Italy coach
Seeing him on TV is different to playing with him. Being alongside him is amazing; he is so strong. I always watch him and try to steal some secrets. If he's taking free-kicks and I have already finished my session, I put my boots back on and watch him.
Álvaro Morata, his former Juventus team-mate
Pirlo is a global benchmark at the highest level. His free-kicks are famous; it's always an honour to play against him.
Andrés Iniesta, FC Barcelona and Spain
When I saw him playing, I thought: God exists, because his football skills are amazing.
Gianluigi Buffon, his former Juventus and Italy team-mate
Andrea is fabulous; there aren't any other adjectives to describe him.
Carlo Ancelotti, his former Milan coach
When he plays well, the team play well.
Michel Platini, UEFA President and former Juventus forward
Pirlo really impressed me, he is full of talent and is a special player.
David Beckham, his former Milan team-mate
I have always considered Andrea to be the best Italian footballer. I have met him so many times, from the youth team to the World Cup: I can assure you that it is an undisputed champion. Eighteen years ago he was already the star of the team; he has always been a key player.
Xavi Hernández, former Barcelona and Spain midfielder