The legendary Andrea Pirlo is one of the greatest deep-lying playmakers football has ever seen and his place in the game's history is already well and truly assured.
The 38-year-old, currently at New York City FC, won nine trophies whilst at AC Milan, including two Serie A titles and two Champions Leagues, not to mention the 2006 World Cup with Italy.
Then, after moving to rivals Juventus in 2011 aged 32, he reignited his career by winning the league in each of his four seasons as well as three other major honours.
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The man who holds the record for the most free-kicks scored in Serie A history will obviously be cheering on his former club in tonight's Champions League final against holders Real Madrid.
Ahead of the massive clash, Pirlo explained why he believes Juve can emerge victorious, and he also revealed details of a conversation with his ex-teammates when he returned to Turin in 2016.
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What Juve stars said about their CL campaign
Pirlo wrote in La Stampa, via Goal: "I was not surprised by Juve, even if it's not easy to win everything, as I knew this season they were targeting the Champions League.
"I expected nothing other than this (Juve reaching the final). I remember in December, when I went back to Turin and had dinner with Gigi (Buffon), chatting to other former team-mates too, they were convinced they had a great squad and could go all the way."
The midfield maestro, who played 164 times for the Old Lady, continued: "There was that confidence and hunger, which I too have known.
"A final is not yet the end and Real are a great team; there's reason to fear, but that's true of all opponents at this level.
"If Juve face this test the way they know how, they've got a big chance of winning. At the end of the day, this season, they never got it wrong in the games that matter."
Andrea on Gigi
Pirlo is particularly desperate for his great friend Gianluigi Buffon to win Europe's elite club competition for the first time in what represents his third (and probably last) chance.
"I am happy for Gianluigi Buffon. He's been waiting a lifetime to lift this cup. I hope he wins it, after coming so close at other times.
"I say this as a friend and a former team-mate, someone who knows him well. He deserves it, it's the only thing he's missing.
"I read that he could win the Ballon d'Or; he hasn't surprised me, not even in this extraordinary season, because when he truly believes in something and has that objective in his head, he'll do anything to reach it."
Pirlo on 2015 CL final loss
Pirlo's most recent Champions League final ended in a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Barcelona in 2015, and the Italian admitted he would love to have one more crack at winning it.
"Every now and then I think back to that night two years ago in Berlin, because when you lose a final, it comes back into your thoughts.
"You'd love to play it again. Unfortunately for me, I can't do that, but I am happy for them (the current Juventus players)."
What do YOU make of the Juve players' thoughts back in December? Do YOU think they will win the Champions League? Have YOUR say in the comments box below!
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