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Chelsea, Barca among Pirlo´s former suitors

Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo says Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona were all keen on his signature during his time at AC Milan.

The 33-year-old ended a 10-year association with Milan in 2011 and, prior to signing for Juventus, a decision he believes was the best of his career, Pirlo said he was not short of suitors keen to secure his services.

“I had already reached an agreement with Chelsea, then after Berlusconi intervened … I stayed at Milan,” he wrote in his autobiography.

“I was also very close with (Fabio) Capello at Real Madrid and nearly joined them in 2006.”

“(Pep) Guardiola then convinced me to join Barcelona in 2011, but Berlusconi stepped in again.”

The Italy international said he was happy with his decision to sign for Juve, and stressed his departure from Milan was born out of a desire to seek a new challenge, rather than a falling out with the club.

“Surely it was the best decision of my career to sign for Juventus,” he said, as the club close in on their second successive Serie A title.

“Do I regret leaving Milan? I decided I needed a change. I needed to find new ideas and that was the best thing for both parties.”

Meanwhile, Clarence Seedorf has been touted as a potential successor to coach Massimiliano Allegri at Milan and Pirlo believes his former team-mate is well-equipped to take the reins at San Siro.

“He (Seedorf) is a great character, he has charisma and could do very well at Milan. But now he’s still playing in Brazil, we will see when it stops,” he said.

It is a career path Pirlo also harbours aspirations to follow and he credited Juve coach Antonio Conte for inspiring him to one day swap life the pitch for the dugout.

“Thanks to Conte I got the urge of coaching and I thank him for that. We will see what happens in the future.”

Tue 30 Apr, 2013
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