Few have ever graced the game in such a manner like Andrea Pirlo did. Almost pedestrian at times, the Italian virtuoso pulled the strings in every game for both club and country, and news of his retirement this week has made the world of football appreciate his talents just that little bit more.
A World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, the enigmatic midfielder also lifted the Champions League on two occasions with AC Milan, as well helping Juventus and Milan to a total of six league titles during his spells with two of Italy's biggest clubs.
Tributes from around the globe have poured in for the 38-year-old, who finished his illustrious career with New York City in the MLS. Among the tributes was a classy tweet from another midfield master, Andres Iniesta, who has faced the Italian in a Euro final, as well as a Champions League final.
He wrote: “Thank you for so much football master,” accompanied with an image of them playing against each other for Spain and Italy.
There's nothing quite like respect between two legends of the game, especially in the form of these two; Pirlo and Iniesta have defined what it means to be a midfielder in the modern game.
In a 22-year career, Andrea Pirlo achieved nearly everything he possibly could, and will undoubtedly go down as one of the most loved players in the game for years to come