How different a team Barcelona would have been if Andrea Pirlo had joined the Catalans 6 years ago. It has now been revealed that the Italian legend had the desire to join Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in 2010.
Guardiola even made an offer for him but AC Milan refused. Pirlo would fit into the Barcelona mold perfectly and it would have been a joy to watch him play in Pep's style at Barca but Milan did not want him to leave the club.
In an interview with Marca, he said, "Pep’s the No.1 coach [in the world] without a doubt, Look at what he did with Barcelona and then Bayern Munich. Above all, he's a person I've had the pleasure of knowing. I admire and respect him. We speak quite often now, because we have mutual friends in Brescia."
“How did I feel when he wanted to sign me? How could you not want to go [to Barcelona]?We were facing the best team in the world [in a preseason friendly at Camp Nou] and he told me he wanted me in the team. He met me in his office after the game, we spoke for a long time."
Pirlo eventually did leave the club in 2011 after Milan felt he was past his prime, but boy did he prove them wrong! Juventus signed him on a free and he became the centerpiece of their title-winning squad that season.
He went on to win a few more titles and was also named as the best player in Italy for three consecutive years. Pirlo had the opportunity to play against the team he almost joined in 2015 when Juve played Barcelona in the Champions League final.
Unfortunately, he ended up on the losing side that night with Barcelona running away 3-1 winners.
How would Pirlo have fit into Barca’s system back in 2010?
If Pirlo actually played for Barcelona we’ll have to try and understand where the club could accommodate him in that extremely talented first XI. Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets are all extremely capable midfielders and can match the Italian for quality on the ball.
The Italian architect probably is most closely associated to Xavi Hernandez. But Guardiola would have had to make a very tough decision in trying to choose between the two maestros.
The team of 2010 was already a well-oiled machine at the time and realistically it would have been very difficult. So it probably worked out for the best Pirlo decided to stick with Milan before he eventually got his move to Juventus