Andrea Pirlo has admitted that his time at AC Milan did not end the way he would have liked, which left him heading for Juventus with a desire for ‘revenge’.
Pirlo made 401 appearances for Milan, scoring 41 goals and winning a number of trophies, including two Serie A titles in 2004 and 2011, as well as two Champions League titles in 2003 and 2007. He also won a Coppa Italia in 2003, a Supercoppa Italiana in 2004, and two UEFA Super Cups in 2003 and 2007 and the FIFA Club World Cup title in 2007.
He was part of Milan’s big resurgence after the dominance of the 1990s and yet when it came to renewing his deal in 2011, the offer for a multi-year contract was not forthcoming largely because of his age.
The Italian left with the best wishes of the club and CEO Adriano Galliani as long as he didn’t sign for a rival, and yet a few weeks later he put pen to paper on a three-year contract with Juventus where he would go on to win seven trophies before departing in 2015.
Pirlo gave a long interview to Radio TV Serie A reflecting on what was an illustrious playing career and a coaching career that is still in its infancy, with his comments relayed by Calciomercato.com.
“With Milan I won everything, but the best victory was the first Champions League. Almost all of us were having our first experience and had been waiting to reach this goal since the beginning of the season, after a semi-final win against Inter,” he said.
“I had way of experiencing wonderful emotions over the years also thanks to my team-mates who made every moment beautiful. The wound from the final in Istanbul is difficult to heal, we won the next one, but in that moment you don’t think about future opportunities and on occasion I even thought about quitting.
“My adventure with Milan didn’t end as I dreamed, I hoped I could stay and still be useful. When I realised that I was no longer seen as an important player, I didn’t hesitate to change teams. At that time there was a policy whereby those over 30 were only offered a one-year contract. I was still young and unable to find an agreement I went in another direction.
“Juventus? This was a revenge for me. I had a great desire to demonstrate to everyone that I was still a strong player and capable of still playing at a high level and with Juve I won four league titles and we reached a final of Champions League.
“The journey that led us to win the first Scudetto without losing and then the following ones began with Conte, I have a very good relationship with him. He was the first to start making me analyse situations on the pitch, I thought almost as a coach.
“He was a great teacher on the pitch and in football. In the way I handle certain situations and the training sessions of my boys, I take my example from him.”