Bianconeri supporters may have had to wait until February 2012 for Pirlo’s first goal in the fabled black and white of Juventus, but it was more than worth it. Awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area against Catania, Andrea stepped up to take it and – sure enough – had the net billowing and the stadium in raptures. It was the first of 19 goals he would score for Juventus, each one a thing of beauty, each one a jewel in his Juve crown.
Pirlo has always been renowned for his ability from set-pieces and more than lived up to his reputation as he scored five of them in the 2013/14 season. Indeed, whenever the Old Lady won a free-kick in the Italian’s favourite position – central, a few yards outside of the penalty box yet not too far away from goal – the whole stadium knew what was coming next. Whether it was a curling shot, a low strike under the wall or a dipping, swerving effort, the result was often the same.
Although predominantly an architect, a creator of chances for his team-mates, Pirlo was never one to shy away from a chance to shoot. He regularly stepped up with important, match-winning goals.
In March 2014, Pirlo scored two stunning free-kicks in the space of five days to strengthen his Bianconeri legend. On 16 March, an 89th-minute set-piece against Genoa at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris gave Juve a 1-0 win and helped them on their way to that year’s record-breaking Scudetto triumph. Then, on 20 March, Pirlo fired home another late free-kick to send his side into the Europa League quarter-finals at the expense of Fiorentina.
You see, there’s not much that rattles Pirlo (lest we forget the #PirloIsNotImpressed craze). He certainly kept a cool head in the final throes of the thrilling Turin derby at Juventus Stadium in November 2014. With precisely six seconds of added time remaining, Pirlo drifted undetected into a prime shooting position, received the ball from Arturo Vidal and guided an unstoppable strike towards the bottom corner of the net and into the Derby della Mole history books.