Andrea Pirlo was supposed to be the safest multi-million dollar hedge in the history of New York soccer. He drinks wine from his own Italian vineyard, has a mane like a lion prowling for suitors on the Masai Mara, plays video games on World Cup final days (and wins both), and he fits in diagonal balls – still – with the same nonchalance we use drawing in a breath.
But perhaps most importantly for the image, not a month ago Pirlo was playing in a Champions League final. That Pirlo was essentially marked out of the thickest portion of the match by Luis Suarez and did almost no tracking was clearly deemed far less important by his multiple suitors. He may be 36, and he may have almost entirely shed his desire to observe any discernible tempo on his own. But he’s Pirlo. Even the clouds seemed to scribble it on the firmament.
And so America spent a few gleeful hours trumpeting the reported NYCFC arrival of one of the world’s most interesting men in one of the world’s most interesting soccer markets. He’s an Italian in the boroughs, for chrissakes.