Andrea Pirlo says he has no regrets over turning down a move to Real Madrid nine years ago.
The 35-year-old playmaker will face Los Blancos this evening when Juventus host the Champions League holders in the first leg of the semi-final. If things had been different, he could have been lining up in the famous white shirt.
Pirlo was subject of a bid from Los Blancos in 2006, when he was playing for AC Milan. The Seria A giants had been embroiled in the match fixing scandal and were punished by having points docked from them.
Real, then under the management of Fabio Capello, tried to take advantage of the uncertainty in Italian football by making a bid for Pirlo.
Speaking to AS, the Italy international said: “Capello called me in 2006. Milan had problems with the Calciopoli scandal and the deal was nearly done. But then everything was sorted out and my contract was renewed.
“Madrid is Madrid. There’s nothing more to say. It’s the biggest team in the world. But regrets? No. That following season, in fact, we won the Champions League at AC Milan.”
He then went on to add that he’s looking forward to meeting his old boss Carlo Ancelotti again.
“He’s like a father to me. We spent many years together. He got me playing my best football in a different position, further back. He changed my role on the pitch. I lived indescribable times with him.”