The former Preston boss reportedly meant to describe the star as ‘homesick’ when discussing the Italian's decision to spend his entire career in his homelandPhil Brown has been the subject of online ridicule after he mistakenly called Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo ‘homophobic’.
The former Hull City manager made the erroneous comment during an interview with BBC Radio 5 live when discussing the Juventus star’s reasons for never leaving his homeland to play for a foreign club.
It is widely believed that Brown had intended to say ‘homesick’ when commenting on the 33-year-old and his imperious display against England in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012.
"I think the Premier League is the best league in the world," Brown said.
"I think that's why we're attracting the better foreign players. Why ... for the life of me ... hasn't Pirlo played in England?
"Is he just homophobic? Is he Italian through and through and doesn't want to leave them?"
Brown has not been able to escape ridicule, with the subject trending across the country on Tuesday afternoon as Twitter users poked fun at his faux-pas.
Pirlo capped off his dazzling display on Sunday by scoring an audacious penalty during the Azzurri’s shoot-out triumph.
Italy take on Germany in the second semi-final on Thursday in Warsaw.