You might not think that a man with a powerful beard and his own vineyard like Andrea Pirlo would have any time for video games, but you would be very, very wrong. The 33-year-old Juventus midfielder has a new biography out now entitled "I think therefore I play" and James Horncastle wrote an excellent piece for ESPN on a section in the book about Pep Guardiola, who tried to buy Pirlo from Milan when he was still at Barcelona. But within this tale is the revelation that Pirlo really football video games.
"After the wheel, the best invention is the PlayStation," he claims.
To say Pirlo picks up a controller every now and again is an understatement. Though he can't precisely recall how many football games he has played on it, he estimates that it's "at least four times" more than in real life.
When Pirlo was with Milan, he and defender Alessandro Nesta would have regular Playstation sessions based around their training schedule. And it was in these epic and angry contests that a Milan chapter of the Pep Guardiola Appreciation Society was formed.
"Me against Nesta was a clasico of our time at Milanello," Pirlo remembers. "We'd get in early, have breakfast at 9 then close ourselves off in our room to challenge each other, train, have lunch and then it was back in our room again until 4 in the afternoon.
"Our battles were pure adrenaline. I chose Barcelona, Sandrino did too. Barca against Barca. The first player I'd take was Samuel Eto'o, the fastest out of everyone, though I often lost. I'd become furious, I'd throw the joystick, demand a rematch and lose again, but I couldn't use the excuse that the coach of his team was better than mine: Pep Guardiola for him and Pep Guardiola for me. At least on the bench we started equal."
I think FIFA 14 just found its advertising campaign. Broadcast a series of matches between Nesta and Pirlo playing each other online. The controller-throwing tantrums alone are worth paying to see.