"No other act in sport is fraught with tension in quite the same way as a soccer penalty kick, which offers little metaphorical subtlety: the taker is literally put on the spot. Pirlo, for his part, walked to that spot on Sunday in Kiev slow and bored and impassive, like a husband at the mall. Pirlo stepped to the ball, came nearly to a full stop, then chipped it softly toward the center of the goal, as if gently kicking off a slipper before bed. The Pirlo penno was so slow in real time that slow motion replay reduced it to Zapruderesque speed, giving it greater gravitas, as Pirlo’s Prell-commercial hair flounced and shone beneath the stadium lights. The ball, making barely perceptible progress toward goal, begged for its own NFL Films close-up and John Facenda voiceover."
Steve Rushin, on that perfect penalty kick. If you haven’t read the article yet, you need to
"… in the 2006 World Cup final, his made penalty helped Italy beat France in a shootout. Pirlo was named third best player of that World Cup, for which FIFA awarded him a Bronze Ball, giving him three in total, if you count the pair he was born with."
Steve Rushin, writing for Sports Illustrated, ruminates upon one Andrea Pirlo. Read more here