Andrea Pirlo : I Think Therefore I Play Paperback
by Andrea Pirlo
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 200 pages, illustrations
- Publisher: BackPage Press Limited
- Publication Date: 15/04/2014
- Category: Autobiography: sport
- ISBN: 9781909430167
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Review by JonArnold
If you’re looking for what in Andrea Pirlo’s upbringing made him one of the world’s finest players (certainly the best midfielder currently not playing at the Camp Nou) you won’t find it here – you’ll learn very little of Pirlo’s early life bar a few brief details of family background and the odd activity he enjoyed. And perhaps that’s no bad thing – invariably these are the parts of the biography that end up being the least fascinating, rarely providing insight and delaying the accounts of great deeds on the pitch that are the point of almost all football biographies. And Pirlo has never been one to be anything less than fascinating. Instead what we get is a non-chronological account of his career, not measured in the bland statistics of goals, assists and passes but in the technicolour shades of emotion and passions. Really, it’s what you want from a biography, the thought processes and feelings of the man on the pitch. There’s insight into squad dynamics, the capriciousness and virtue of club owners and the randomness of a football career – Pirlo reveals that at one point in mid-career he considered retirement (following one of the most infamous losses in Milan history) and that if circumstances had worked out differently he may have ended up playing for Real Madrid, Barcelona or Chelsea. What it also gives, perhaps most importantly, is insight into Pirlo. He’s an admirably well-rounded character, from the title’s play on one of philosophy’s most famous quotes, through repeated references to Woody Allen’s films and his predilection for PlayStation games. Despite the appearance of his cool headedness on the pitch (most famously displayed with the ‘Panenka’ in a penalty shoot-out against England in the 2012 European Championships) he comes across as almost stereotypically Italian in temperament, hot-headed and passionate.Entertaining, but structurally as scattershot as Pirlo’s play generally isn’t.