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Everybody loves Andrea Pirlo

The Church of Andrea Pirlo was in session at the Arena das Dunas on Tuesday.

Everyone, be it Italians, Brazilians or even Uruguayans were in awe of the man. Everything he did was the subject of gawking and applause.

And this for a 36-year-old who can barely run anymore, has to have a team built around him and was the enemy to half of the stadium.

There weren’t many Italy fans at the match, but at least two-thirds of those that we found were in Pirlo jerseys. Sure, there was the occasional Mario Balotelli, Daniele De Rossi or even Fabio Cannavaro shirt, but Pirlo was the favorite.

When the Italy team warmed up, there were mainly boos. The stadium was overwhelmingly Uruguayan, but you could heat the occasional chant of "Pirlo" and when that started, the Uruguay fans clapped

The Uruguay fans were deafening for most of the match, chanting and cheering to keep the stadium abuzz. But every time Pirlo touched the ball, a hush came over the stadium. Whether it was a matter of awe or fear of the magician hitting a 60-yard ball on a dime, the Uruguayans’ were struck silent by the Italian.

Italy’s corner kicks served as an extended celebration for the man. He jogged over to the flag and gathered the ball, sparking a standing ovation from everyone in the area. Fans in Italy jerseys were joined by those in Uruguay jerseys. The Brazilians took pictures and everyone cheered.

With a spot in the knockout stages on the line, Pirlo was above it all. Church was in session.