Pirlo wears Fuzzy, Zebra Slippers, Plays Soccer.. Remains Awesome

Not words… just right…

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Pirlo: I Think Therefore I Play [A Sycophant’s Book Review]

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Amazon Kindle Edition of Pirlo’s Autobiography -$9.99 and Delivered Instantly

My love of Andrea Pirlo is well established and all-encompassing.  I pre-ordered the hardcopy of the book the day it went on pre-sale in the UK like two months ago and expect it to be here by the end of the month.  On its publication date I tried to download the kindle version from the UK and the US Amazon stores.  UK told me they only sell to UK addresses and US did not have it at all.

On a whim Friday night I checked US Amazon again, it was there!  Downloaded it instantly, started reading and barely stopped until it was done.   Seriously, I had finished it about 10 hours after I started it and that includes sleeping and seeing the World Cup.

It was fantastic, feeling more like a well written long-form magazine article or a behind the scenes documentary than an autobiography.  Actually, it is like a guy having a few beers telling war stories at the pub.  He hold you enthralled without really trying.

Unlike say Zlatan’s autobiography, there is very little on his childhood or his family.  He goes into great detail about his desire to keep his family’s privacy protected and therefore does not really talk about them.  He has precious few mentions of (ex?) wife and their two children and those mentions actually seamlessly flow with the broader story.

The book reads exactly as he plays: elegant, direct, everything held close to the vest and perfectly delivered.  There is no demeaning anyone, no chest-thumbing, no bravado, just funny stories and interesting insights.  There is not a lot of in-depth, introspection; settling of scores; or ego stroking.  Even when he does take on someone, it is still in a funny, intelligent way.  Much more snarky, sarcastic but good-natured mocking; than cowardly, brutal attack where the people cannot respond.

For example,  he talks about he and his Milan/Azzurri teammates would play practical jokes on each other…  OH BTW, PIRLO IS FLIPPING HILARIOUS, shockingly so…  The stuff he and the boys used to do with Rino Gattuso is laugh out loud literally comic gold.   The kids at goal.com  have one of the Gattuso excerpts on their site  this is the writing style throughout the book.. nothing harsh but funny.

The other surprising thing about his writing are the many, many and varied pop-culture references both related to Italian and more global pop culture.  He references movies, history, politics, science, tv, etc and it all works (luckily some of them are footnoted for the non-Italian reader) .

When addressing his own experiences with racism, being called a Romai (gypsy) or talking about Mario and Kevin Boateng experiences, he forcefully expresses himself and his feelings but with a very eloquent simplicity.    It is honest and compelling.

I think that my favorite story is at the end when the Qatari try to sign him to play in Qatar.  It was brilliantly told like he had just landed in the land of Oz and the muchkins were singing to him.  An Example:

“Andrea, how many kids have you got?”

“Two”

“Well, we’ve an excellent English language school in Qatar”

“I actually quite like hearing them speak Italian”

“No problem. We’ll build a new one and only employ a Italian teachers.”

It is a very brief but incredibly interesting insight into how the Qatari work, especially given the current speculation/proof of bribery for the world cup.

Anyone who loves soccer, loves good story-telling or just loves to laugh should enjoy this book.   I was afraid that I would like him less or be way less amused with him after reading it like I was with Zlatan after reading his autobiography.  Just the opposite, I adore Pirlo more.  Also I really want to drink with him

Ibra v. Gooch.

“Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Oguchi Onyewu looked like they were trying to kill each other: there were definitely some broken ribs, despite silence and denials from the king’s buglers who said it was just a “lively confrontation”. Those of us who’d witnessed it were put in mind of a Mafia-style settling of the scores. It was like something out of Highlander – there can be only one. “

Quote provided by the glorious people at Backpress Books in the UK who are publishing the English language version of Pirlo’s book, I Think Therefore I Play.   There will be more on this… A LOT more

You can Pre-Order Your Copy From Amazon UK NOW

If you are in LA at ANY point over the next few weeks – HEAD TO LACMA

LACMA - FUTBAL: THE BEAUTIFUL GAME EXHIBITLACMA - FUTBAL: THE BEAUTIFUL GAME EXHIBITLACMA - FUTBAL: THE BEAUTIFUL GAME EXHIBITLACMA - StrikerLACMA - StrikerItalian Serie A Photography

Maldini Captaining AC MilanAS Roma PlayersDiamond studded ball with musicThe Art of the DiveSole Female Player Representation in the CollectionPirlo Congratulates Kaka on Goal for AC Milan
Kaka and Pirlo Celebrate an AC Milan goalUS Men's National Team Celebrates Deuce's First Gaoal in 2009 ConFed Cup Final vs BrazilUSMNT celebrate a 2009 ConFed Cup goalUSMNT Celebrats Dempsey's Goal to Confirm Win Against Spain, ConFed Cup 2009Busquets plays peek-a-boo for penalitiesSamuel E'oto painting..
LACMA - FUTBAL: THE BEAUTIFUL GAME EXHIBITPele by Warhol

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has a special exhibition related to the game and its cultural effects of societies around the globe entitled Fútbol: The Beautiful Game. The Exhibit is exquisite in its scope and diversity of medium: sculpture, paintings, video installations, and photography, among other mediums.  If you are in LA, between now and July 20, 2014 – SEE IT.

The Exhibit is only half of the top floor of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, but plan to spend at least two if not 4 hours there.   There are two full match length must see videos: one is  Miguel Calderon’s 2004 video where he digitally created what his beloved El Tri could not, a 17-0 beating of Brazil.  It is pretty amazing to watch, even with my less than amorous relationship with the Mexican National Team.

ABSOLUTE MUST SEE IN ITS ENTIRETY  – Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait – In 2006, for a single match [Real Madrid v. Villarea, April 23, 2005]  17 cameras at the Bernabéu were trained on JUST ON ZIZOU… Every second of the match is of him without commentary just the crowd noise and stadium announcers. .. It is intoxicating to watch honestly.

Also for those La Liga fans who predate Messi and C-Ron, flashes of Raul, Beckham, “Real” Ronaldo, Guti, even Michael Owen happen by.  Although he was there, on the pitch for the full time, I did not see my beloved Riquelme.. I was too adsorbed to notice much of anything else and there are no cutways, no match highlights broader than Zizou’s reaction, including his 90th minute redcard.    There are two huge screens covering the match so you see him at different angles.

Volta is a piece that is to be the oppose of  Zidane’s singular perfection. It is a handheld piece by Stephen Dean taken of stadium crowds in Brazil, it shows the agony and the ecstasy of the fans watching.  It got me ready for Brazil 2014…

MY FAVORITE piece was a 9:33 minute video of players celebrating wins or goals or stops but celebrating together as one.  It is a broad-based coverage of country and club moments, including the USMNT and Dempsey celebrating at Fulham. It was a beautiful view of pure joy for anyone watching, but reliving many of those moments was extraordinary.   Watch the entire video…

Among some of the other wondering finds are a fantastic B&W photo of Maldini, a painting of Samuel E’oto which is simply stunning and a larger than life print of Busquets  on the ground during the infamous peek-a-boo dive.  There a Warhol of Pele, a painting of George Best,  and a pretty spectacular  video installation of three videos running clips of different dives.  It is mesmerizing and comical..

My one criticism of the collection and it is an issue with the way it was curated..  There is ALMOST ZERO representation of female players, not it a 9:33 minute video, not in a picture, not in a painting… The only representation is that of what I assume to be a female player dribbling and playing keepy-uppy, but it is hard to tell since she is blotted out with a bright pink light.. her face and form are never seen, just the outline of a head and body.There are several female artists included in the collection but they overwhelmingly present male athletes as well. The collection promulgates the theory that female athletes are unworthy of discussion, celebration and attention, and the sexist, absurd notion the female contribution to sport should be only for promotion of male athletes and the male game.

With that (rather large) caveat, it is a wonderfully put together exhibition and celebration the beautiful game.[It should be noted, admission to LACMA is $15 for general admission; LA County residents can go for free after 3:00 P.M. weeknights, excluding Weds.]

Tribute to Pirlo

I cam across a link for this on twitter.    Youtube poster Colosimo99 created a HD 8:27 video of brilliance. It is simply stunning to watch Pirlo perfection on the pitch.  It is masterfully complied and edited.  WATCH IT NOW

In other importantly Pirlo News: PRILO’S autobiography, PENSO QUINDI GIOCO (I Think, Therefore I Play) IS COMING OUT IN ENGLISH APRIL 15th
http://www.backpagepress.co.uk/news/blog/backpage-sign-pirlo-/?tag=andrea%20pirlo

Also rumors in Italian tabs have him filing for divorce today after 12 years and two kiddos. (sad if true). All my best to his family at this difficult time