Andrea Pirlo has revealed he turned down a move to Barcelona in 2010 because he was happy at AC Milan.
The 38-year-old Italian had the chance to move to Barcelona as part of Milan’s deal to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic from the Spanish giants.
Pirlo eventually signed for Juventus in 2011 after 10 years with Milan, winning four Serie A titles at his new club before moving to New York City FC four years later.
After two years in Major League Soccer, Pirlo announced his retirement from professional
“Ibrahimovic’s transfer was in the balance and I could have been part of that move, but it was all resolved without me going,” Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia.
“I don’t know [if I would have accepted]. It would certainly have been a great experience, but I was happy at Milan.”
Pirlo had won two Champions League titles at Milan and became part of an Italian core, which the midfielder admitted were hard to manage.
“In an historic group of Italians, there was me, Massimo [Ambrosini], [Gennaro] Gattuso, [Alessandro] Nesta, [Christian] Abbiati and [Filippo] Inzaghi,” he added.
“[Gattuso] acquired a fishmongers in the final years and so he was constantly providing fish to the kitchen at Milanello.
“When we knew that fish was on the menu, we would all order ham instead. Off the field, we were [crazier] than on it.”
Since retiring, Pirlo has been linked with coaching roles with Chelsea under former Juventus manager Antonio Conte, though no official move has been made.