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'I'm a student of free-kicks', says football's coolest man

The midfield magician scored from open play last Friday but revealed he’s still learning when it comes to set-pieces.

Image: Massimo Pinca/AP/Press Association Images

JUVENTUS STAR ANDREA PIRLO has described himself as a student of free-kick taking and says he can still improve his quality from set-pieces.

The 35-year-old is widely acknowledged as one of the best free-kick takers in world football after mastering the knuckle ball-style execution made famous by former Brazil midfielder Juninho Pernambucano.

Pirlo scored a stunning goal from open play as Juventus beat Atalanta 2-1 on Friday night, but remains modest over his ability to produce the spectacular from dead ball situations.

He told La Stampa: “When it comes to free-kicks, I am not a maestro, but a student, because in life there is always something new to learn.”

The former Italy international signed a contract extension until June 2016 last June having originally joined the club on a free transfer after leaving AC Milan in 2011.

He has since gone on to win Serie A three times with the Bianconeri and looks set to add another title to his resume as Juve sit nine points clear at the top of the table.

But while he has enjoyed great domestic success in Turin, Pirlo has been unable to add another Champions League crown to the two he won during his time with Milan and he admits he wants to taste European success again before retiring.

“I came to Juve in order to win and we achieved that. I am very happy, but now we must make the next step up the ladder,” he said. I’d like to win another Champions League before retiring.

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Italy Soccer Champions League Source: Massimo Pinca/AP/Press Association Images

Regarding the club’s upcoming last-16 clash with Borussia Dortmund, Pirlo added: “We will not fall into the trap of confusing Borussia Dortmund’s Bundesliga status with their real quality. You cannot underestimate a match like this.”

His future beyond his current deal remains uncertain but despite being in his mid-30s the former Milan man retains the desire to continue playing. “When it feels like a chore to come to training , I will be the first to raise my hand and say that’s enough, I quit. However, that moment is not now.”

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