If it seems as if Italian international and New York City FC midfielder Andrea Pirlo has played forever, well, that's because he kind of has. After collecting his first cap for the Italian national squad at the ripe age of 23 all the way back in 2002, the now 37-year-old ageless wonder continues to marvel defenses with his magician-like touch and pace.
After leaving Serie A for NYCFC to join MLS prior to the 2015 season, Pirlo's greatness showed for his new club immediately, as he was involved in his team's third and fourth goals after coming on as a substitute in the 56th minute of the 5-3 win.
While Andrea Pirlo might have gray in his beard and a few weathered wrinkles on his face, the man knows what it takes to maintain a healthy diet, which he talked in-depth about with *GQ Magazine recently.
When Pirlo was asked about how he's kept in shape for over two decades, he revealed that it's all in what he consumes—not some magical potion to keep him staying young.
"I changed my diet the moment I understood that my metabolism was changing. Until I was 30 years old, my body was used to my routine of eating pasta every single day. Nowadays I eat it just the day of a match."
Really? Before every single match?
"I have my routine. Before every match I eat pasta with tomato and chicken breast a few hours beforehand. In the hottest months, I choose to drink an energy drink before the match, too, but normally I drink just water. I decided to bring my Italian habits here to the U.S."
You mentioned earlier that you’ve been able to maintain the same eating habits here in the States that you had in Italy, so what exactly are those habits? What’s a typical day look like for Andrea Pirlo when it comes to your diet?
"I stick to a Mediterranean diet with fresh produce and olive oil. On a normal day my diet is divided into the three main meals. I don’t eat any other snack between meals during the day. For breakfast I usually eat ham or prosciutto with crackers, orange juice, and a cup of coffee. Sometimes I exchange the ham with an omelet. Then at lunch I normally eat a mixed salad with salmon or chicken. For dinner, finally, I eat meat or fish. I don’t have big preferences and I like to keep it simple."
In the off-season do you allow yourself to indulge a bit more often in a bowl of pasta?
"During the off-season, I eat almost everything without exaggerating."
Pirlo, who's such a wine-lover that Nike even released a custom pair of wine-inspired cleats last season, does caution against drinking vino during the season.
You’re a noted wine drinker, and my Italian grandmother loves to say that a glass of red wine every night keeps her young. Would you agree with that statement?
"If this statement would be true, I would drink it every night! I like drinking wine, and I drink it often, but not every night. When I stay home for dinner I normally just drink water."
That's a bit of a bummer to hear from Andrea Pirlo, but, hey, at least we know the secret to staying in shape even as we age—so go ahead and sneak a glass of wine to toast to that!
You can read the full interview with Andrea Pirlo over on GQ's website.