He has an answer for that. No. “Maybe I would have done even better,” she said, with a smile. His logic is based on more than unabashed self-confidence. “He was a little bit more technical when I was playing,” he told her. “Now maybe it’s more physical. But there were many players in my generation, many teams with top-level technical players.
“Maybe there aren’t that many now, so a little bit of quality goes a long way. It would be just as valuable in this type of football, perhaps more. Those kinds of players, those a little smarter or a little more technical, are harder to find now. In all that speed, all that haste, there are certain situations where the most important thing is a little intelligence, a little technique “.
Furthermore, Pirlo is adamant that certain truths about football hold true, regardless of how the game’s fashions, tastes, ebb and flow. He might look at it now with a coach’s eye, scouring what he sees for some strategic insight, some tactical maneuver, but he remains a player at heart. “Now you have to work inside the systems more than you did,” he said. “But it always depends on the players.” A coach, he knows from personal experience, is never in complete control of events. Even the best strategies, the most complex schemes, depend on the human beings in charge of implementing them.
“Everything can change,” he said. “He can be faster or slower, he can have one style or another, but it’s always the players who make things happen on the pitch.”
In this, for Pirlo, he always remains the same, familiar, recognizable, attractive as he always has been. “You can ask if he was better looking before or better looking now,” he said. “But it’s always nice.”