Why Andrea Pirlo is missing Soccer Aid as Italy legend pulls out of World XI squad vs England

Italian football legend Andrea Pirlo has not been named in the squad for the World XI at Soccer Aid this evening after being announced as the new manager for Turkish side Fatih Karagumruk SK.

The 43-year-old was announced as one of the ex-professionals who would be gracing the London Stadium pitch at Soccer Aid alongside other legends including Cafu, Roberto Carlos, Jamie Carragher, Gary Neville and Dimitar Berbatov as well as a host of celebrities to help raise money for UNICEF.

However, after several weeks of speculation, Pirlo has been in Turkey this weekend finalizing his return to management with Super Lig side Fatih Karagumruk SK. Pirlo has been away from management since the end of the 2020/21 season following his sacking from Juventus.

READ MORE: What Jamie Carragher and Liam Payne did with England teammates to prepare for Soccer Aid 2022

The World Cup winner lost his job with his former club after a poor showing in the Champions League and Serie A, though he did win the Old Lady a Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana during his only season as Juventus’ manager. His new club finished eighth in the Turkish top-flight last season but have ambitions of challenging Istanbul’s giants at the top of the table.

A statement from the club upon Pirlo’s announcement as their new manager read: “The world-famous footballer recently coached Juventus, one of the most important clubs in Europe. Having also had Champions League experience with Juventus, Pirlo has signed a contract that makes him a member of Karagumruk for one year, starting on 1 July. Andrea Pirlo’s press conference will be held on Tuesday, June 14, and the place and time will be announced later by our club. We welcome our coach Andrea Pirlo and wish him success. ”

Pirlo’s absence from the Soccer Aid lineup has already been commented on by several people on social media, with fans upset they won’t be able to watch the graceful Italian in action tonight against England. The midfielder would likely have been going toe toe with recently-retired West Ham captain Mark Noble, a battle many were eager to tune in for.

Instead, the World XI have lined up with a midfield three made up of social media personality Noah Beck, Line of Duty star Martin Compston and actor Mark Strong. England have Noble and Lionesses legend Fara Wiliams in the center of the pitch with captain Liam Payne and musician Tom Grennan on the left and right.

Other former professionals on the show during the event include David James, Teddy Sheringham, Joe Cole, Eni Aluko, Stewart Downing and Anita Asante (all England), as well as Petr Cech, Patrice Evra, Robbie Keane, Heather O’Reilly, Andriy Shevchenko , and Carli Lloyd (World XI).

You can donate to this year’s Soccer Aid for UNICEF by clicking here.

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