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Pirlo: ‘I wanted to retire’

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Andrea Pirlo confirms “I really thought about quitting” after Milan’s Champions League final defeat to Liverpool in 2005.

The Rossoneri were 3-0 up at half-time in Istanbul, but allowed the English side to draw level and then lost on penalties.

The former midfielder said in his autobiography that the defeat made him want to retire from football, and that wasn’t hyperbole.

“The disappointment remains, but you can’t go back,” Pirlo told reporters as he received the Facchetti Prize today.

“We’d played the best first half ever, there’s just no way of explaining what happened in those seven minutes.

“I really thought about quitting after that, but then I understood that you have to move forward.”

Pirlo will play a farewell match later this month after announcing his retirement, and he reflected on his career.

“I have a wonderful memory of Inter because I was a fan as a child. I was in seventh heaven when I received that call.

“The first season went well for me, I was satisfied, and then I went out on loan.

“Milan? It was an intuition by [Adriano] Galliani. My agent called me and I immediately said yes. It was a wonderful adventure with the Rossoneri, the best 10 years of my life.

“I was lucky enough to play for the three biggest teams in the world’s most beautiful league.

“The Ballon d’Or? I never thought it was important for a player’s career. There are a lot of champions,  I was already happy with the results obtained with my teams and with the National team.

“In Germany [at the 2006 World Cup] it wasn’t just defence, there was also attack and creativity. It must be said though that [Fabio] Cannavaro was the emblem of that side.”

It has been suggested that the Maestro could join Carlo Ancelotti’s staff when his former Coach takes a new job…

“He was a second father for me,” Pirlo admitted.

“He was a special person who taught us so much on a human level, so I just want to thank him for that.

“We talked about the possibility of coaching together, but right now I’m still young and there’s time to think about it.

“All my teammate said they didn’t want to do it and they’re all Coaches now.

“Gennaro Gattuso? I think he’s aged a bit, but he’s given a soul to Milan. I’m happy for him.”

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