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Andrea Pirlo’s Confederations Cup goal belongs in some kind of textbook

Jun 16, 2013, 6:22 PM EDT

I have no idea what goes into a life that leads to that point, but if I can be Andrea Pirlo long enough to stand over a ball 26 yards out, calmly trot up and open my foot onto a shot that flies just under the crossbar, I’m ready to start now. If you guarantee me I can be like Andrea Pirlo, I’ll drop everything I don’t care now many mornings of black coffee and hand-rolled cigarettes it takes, I want to live this moment.

As far as big picture soccer things are concerned, it wasn’t a historic. That’s what makes this all the more poignant. This is just another day in the life of Andre Pirlo. Another day where you just happen to be playing in Brazil, against a confederation champion, for your national team in front of a five-digit crowd in a prelude to next year’s World Cup. And you do something almost nobody else could do. No big deal.

Of course, Mexico’s not going to be as sanguine. A spirited start saw El Tri go off the crossbar early, but as they dejectedly slammed the ball back into their own net after Pirlo’s strike, you could see the helplessness. Is there anything more frightening than being shown something’s unstoppable?

Pirlo’s kick may not be perfect, but with the position of the ball and the wall, could he have gotten any more of that corner? Seems a shame to even ask. After all, could really ask more of this kick?

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