The legendary Italian midfielder has maintained that his style of play is’ a little different from that shown by the 25-year-old
Andrea Pirlo has ruled on Leeds United and English star Kalvin Phillips after hearing he was called the ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’.
Phillips enjoyed an excellent campaign in 2020-21 in Leeds as he helped the club reach a top-ten finish in their first year back in the Premier League after an absence of 16 years.
The 25-year-old’s performances gave him a place in England’s European Championship, where he played a key role in the run – up to the final, and many fans compared him to Italian legend Pirlo.
What was said?
Pirlo saw his country beat England by penalty kicks in the top-flight match at Euro 2020, with Marco Verratti and Jorginho both delivering innings in midfield.
The former Juventus head coach, who has played a similar role for the Bianconeri, Milan and Inter over the course of an excellent 23-year career, understands why Phillips was named in the same breath, but he feels his playing style is a bit else.
“It’s true. In England there has never been such a player. There have been great midfielders with different skills over the years,” said Pirlo. The Athletics . ‘There’s the boy at Leeds (Phillips), who’s a bit of a register …
“But we’re a little different. He does not have the same qualities as me. You’ve always had box-to-box midfielders, like Frank Lampard.”
Phillips’ career journey
Phillips graduated from the Leeds senior team in 2014, having worked through the club’s academy system for the past four years.
He has since scored 211 appearances in all competitions for the Whites and scored 13 goals, while reportedly attracting attention from a number of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Phillips has also played for England 15 times now, with seven of the Euro 2020 outings, starting every game under Gareth Southgate at the tournament.
What’s next for Pirlo?
Pirlo is currently on the lookout for his next job after being sacked by Juventus at the end of a disappointing 2020-21 season.
The 42-year-old, who completed his career at the MLS outfit at New York City FC, wants to take on a new challenge outside Italy and has even hinted at a possible dropout in English football.
“I would like to go abroad,” Pirlo said. “I was in the US for three years, so I have no problems with English and I also speak French. I feel like I can go anywhere.”