Carlo Mazzone

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Italy legend Andrea Pirlo called time on an illustrious career during which he won the 2006 World Cup, two Champions League titles and six Serie A trophies.Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/Getty Images

Andrea Pirlo loved to pull pranks on Gennaro Gattuso. The two midfielders played together for more than a decade with Milan and Italy, winning everyth(...)

‘The world of football has possibly never known a man to distribute the ball like Xavi Hernández (L). Arguably only Andrea Pirlo (R) in the modern game can rival him in being so niggardly with possession.’ Photographs: Reuters and EPA.

Someone calculated that the gematria values – where a numerical value is assigned to a letter – of Xavi (56) and pass (55) and they are almost iden(...)