On New York’s Bustling Streets, a Soccer Megastar Roams Freely


He can’t make a move in Italy without attracting fans, but in New York, Andrea Pirlo is just a regular guy.

Portrait by Bon Duke. Grooming: Lisa-Raquel using R+Co at See Management.

To many people around the world, Andrea Pirlo is a god. As a soccer player for some of the planet’s biggest clubs, he has two Champions League trophies and six league titles. In 2006, he won the World Cup with Italy, where he has three times been player of the year, and where his nicknames include ‘‘Mozart’’ and ‘‘The Professor.’’ His 2013 autobiography, ‘‘I Think Therefore I Play,’’ was a best seller in Italy. There are social media accounts devoted entirely to his beard. A quick Google search of his name returns results like ‘‘37 Reasons Why Andrea Pirlo Is the World’s Greatest Living Human Man.’’ He has met two popes.

But none of that matters in New York City, where Pirlo is standing on a street corner just a block from Herald Square in Manhattan. Last…

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