Andrea Pirlo, one of his era's most prominent football stars, is poised to grace the field in the Kings League 2023. At the age of 44, Andrea Pirlo is ready to embark on his inaugural appearance for Jijantes FC, taking part in the ongoing regular season of the Summer Split. He becomes the fourth guest to sign for the Spanish team and the first big name in the tournament's second leg.
For those unfamiliar, the Kings League is a seven-a-side football tournament that showcases a combination of former professional players and influencers. This competition was initiated by former Spain defender Gerard Piqué, alongside other influencers like Ibai Llanos.
Andrea Pirlo to join the ranks of legends as a star player in Kings League
Andrea Pirlo, who retired from professional football in 2017, is returning as a guest player for Jijantes FC in Week 5 of the competition. He joins the company of legends like Ronaldinho, Iker Casillas, and Aguero, who have previously participated in the tournament for different teams.
Gerard Romero (Barcelona-based football journalist), Jijantes FC's chairman, Gerard Piqué, Twitch star Ibai Llanos, and other notable figures jointly announced Andrea Pirlo's inclusion during the Kings League's Twitch stream on May 29.
Jijantes FC are currently 11th in the standings, trailing top-placed xBuyer Tea by six points. Their performance in the Winter Split was lackluster, finishing in the bottom position. The addition of a maestro like Andrea Pirlo might just be the catalyst that changes the team's fortunes in the ongoing Summer Split.
The Summer Split commenced on May 7, 2023, and is scheduled to culminate with the Final Four on July 30, 2023. The Winter Split final took place at the iconic Nou Camp. As for the Summer Split, the venue for its conclusion is yet to be determined.
Twitch and football community reacts to the news
The announcement generated tremendous excitement from the Twitch community and the wider football community as a whole. Here are some notable reactions made in the popular r/LivestreamFail subreddit:
The news sparked a significant reaction from Twitter users, with several noteworthy responses. Here are some of the top reactions:
What other personalities have played in the Kings League?
Despite being a football tournament featuring prominent football figures, the competition has also witnessed the participation of some influential non-English-speaking streamers.
In February 2023, Spanish Twitch streamer and chairperson of Porcinos FC Ibai Llanos made an on-field appearance. Notably, he even scored a penalty kick against the legendary Iker Casillas.
Another prominent streamer involved in the tournament is David Cánovas, widely recognized as TheGrefg. Serving as Saiyans FC's chairperson, TheGrefg has over 11 million Twitch followers.
Martí "Spursito," an Andorran streamer and YouTuber, is another notable content creator and president at Rayo de Barcelona in both the Kings League and Queens League.
With a total of a staggering 24 million followers, Ibai and TheGrefg currently rank as the fourth and seventh most followed streamers on Twitch. Although professional footballers primarily lead the competition, the significant contributions of streamers cannot be underestimated.