The name Andrea Pirlo is synonymous with the deep-lying playmaker role. Often considered to be one of – if not the – quintessential example of passing prowess, the 34-year old Juventus midfielder has taken a shine to Steven Gerrard in his newly adopted role for Liverpool.
“The intelligent players adapt – and Steven Gerrard has the ability to do that” said Pirlo when asked about Gerrard’s new position. “He is an excellent passer of the ball, possesses an intelligent football brain, and has great vision” the Italian great continued. “He has all the qualities to play a deeper role.” Although there has been a learning curve for both the Reds skipper and those around him, Gerrard is beginning to settle in his new surroundings, and as he becomes more familiar with the role, the more his quality will show.
When Pirlo made the switch to Juventus, many pundits tipped the former AC Milan stalwart with a more reduced role at the Old Lady, but the pass master has kept on playing his game and has made 19-appearances for the Italian side this season, scoring 3 goals and creating 43 chances. When Italy and England meet in this summer’s World Cup, it’s expected that it will be the last major tournament for both Pirlo and Gerrard, but it’s likely that they’ll both continue on at the club level.
“Top European clubs are always progressing with what they can do off the field. Training is getting more scientific, and we are constantly getting more educated on nutrition” mused Pirlo. “If you look after yourself and are willing to adapt, there is no reason why you can’t play at the top level until your late 30s. Gerrard is a top professional, it is very possible he has many top years left for Liverpool and England in a new role.”
Hopefully he has enough years left for him to lift a trophy – maybe the Premier League title – with Brendan Rodgers and the Reds.