Originally considered an attacking midfielder in the Francesco Totti mould, Andrea Pirlo has been successfully converted by Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti into a deep-lying playmaker.
Club: AC Milan
Debut: 07/09/02 v Azerbaijan
Pirlo came through the youth set-up at Brescia and starred for Italy's Under-21 side but his career stalled after a move to Internazionale.
But after joining rivals AC Milan in 2001, Pirlo proved himself as a world-class performer, winning both the Champions League and Coppa Italia in 2003.
Though a little lightweight for the anchor role, Pirlo is a wonderful passer and is capable of delivering dangerous set-pieces.
Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni has been reluctant to play Pirlo as a defensive midfielder, claiming "it would be like having Zico just in front of the defence".
After watching Pirlo orchestrate Milan's romp to the Serie A title this season, 'Trap' must be tempted to throw caution to the wind and find room for the talented 25-year-old.
Did you know? Pirlo made his Serie A debut for Brescia. aged just 16.