Andrea Pirlo explains why he dinked his penalty past Joe Hart at Euro 2012

Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo kicks an

So, Andrea Pirlo will retire from football in December when the MLS season ends - and what a career he’s had.

He’s played for the three biggest teams in Italy - Juventus, AC Milan and Juventus - and has represented his country 116 times.

Six Serie A titles, two Champions Leagues and a World Cup. Not bad at all.

But it’s the way he plays the game that made him so special.

Pirlo loves to just swan around the pitch without a care in the world, no matter how big the game is.

"I don’t feel pressure … I don’t give a toss about it. I spent the afternoon of Sunday, 9 July, 2006 in Berlin sleeping and playing the PlayStation. In the evening, I went out and won the World Cup."

That one quote sums him up, really.

And one moment during his career also summed him up.

Unfortunately for England fans, it came at Euro 2012 during the quoter-final penalty shoot-out.

Pirlo faced Joe Hart from the penalty spot and what did he do?

England v Italy - UEFA EURO 2012 Quarter Final

Watch: Pirlo dinks Joe Hart

Well, just take a look:

That’s right. A cheeky ‘Panenka’ at such an important moment.

But why did he do it?

Well, in an interview with the Daily Mail back in 2014, Pirlo revealed all.

"I made my decision at the last second when I saw Joe Hart doing all sorts on his line," Pirlo said.


"As I began my run-up, I still hadn't decided what to do. Then he moved and my mind was made up.

"It was impromptu — the only way I could see of pushing my scoring chances close to 100 per cent. There was no showboating — that's not my style."

So, it’s all Hart’s fault.

It’s those sort of moments of magic that mean everyone in the football world will miss Pirlo.

Happy retirement you classy legend.

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