Review of Andrea Pirlo’s book, ‘I Think Therefore I Play’

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The Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo’s autobiography I Think Therefore I Play does what most books of its kind sadly fail to do, stay truthful. Pirlo can be best described as one of the most intelligent players of this generation and in his book he speaks his mind; no holds barred.

The title of the book gives us a little bit preview of what to expect and is a clever restatement of ‘Cogito ergo sum,’ which means “I think, therefore I am”, famously said by Rene Descartes, the renowned French philosopher of the 17th century. Not many footballers quote great philosophers but then Pirlo isn’t just another player.

The World Cup winner’s autobiography is a recollection of his journey from his days at the Brescia youth academy to the glorious night in Berlin where they lifted the World Cup after beating France in the final. It also includes his description of parting with AC Milan and joining the Italian powerhouse Juventus.

The former Milan player has won almost everything at club level. Throughout his celebrated career, Pirlo has clinched two Champions League titles, five Serie A titles and a host of other domestic trophies in Italy. He also won a Serie B medal in the 1996/97 campaign with his first football club – Brescia. At the international level, he hasn’t won the Euro but he has laid his hands on the biggest prize in world soccer – the World Cup.

Also known as l’architetto (“the architect”) for his outstanding vision, Pirlo recalls the most amusing, touching and splendid moments as well as unfortunate tales from his two decade career in Italy.

One can read about the lesser known tales from his career. For instance, Mircea Lucescu was of great assistance to Pirlo at the start of his career. The legendary midfielder was kicked around a lot in his early days, not only by the opponents but also by the members of his own team, mostly out of envy for his natural talent and brilliance on the football pitch.

He also describes his countless encounters with a PlayStation video game system at FIFA offices with his best friend and former teammate Alessandro Nesta. The other major revelations include his daydreams of playing under the former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola.

One interesting story was when Pirlo described the day when he won the World Cup with Italy. He claims he was busy playing video games on a PlayStation and had a lot of sleep in the day and in the evening he went out and won the biggest accolade a professional footballer could win — the World Cup trophy. This autobiography is packed with such amazing stories that will stay with you for a long time after you finish reading it.

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