One of the worst kept secrets in soccer has now become official.
Italian soccer legend Andrea Pirlo will be joining New York City FC of Major League Soccer. The move ends of four year run for Pirlo at Serie A side Juventus, where he won multiple league titles and this season led the squad to the Champions League finals, a 3-1 defeat to Barcelona.
Pirlo told NYCFC.com:
“I have been wanting this experience for a long time and now that the opportunity materialized I wanted to take it. This is a club on the rise and shares my same hunger to achieve important results in the league. I am hoping to win.”
“I had several opportunities to play outside of Italy, but I never had a doubt in picking New York for the enthusiasm of the people that come watch the team.”
“I met with the coach, Jason Kreis, and he gave me a fantastic impression of the club. He has well defined ideas in mind, and I am sure we will get on well and create a good relationship to train well and try to win together.”
Speculation surrounding Pirlo’s move to MLS had been floating for several weeks. Fuel was added to the fire following his appearance with Premier League legend Frank Lampard at NYCFC’s 3-1 defeat to New York Red Bulls on June 28. Lampard is also joining NYCFC.
FoxSoccer.com reported that Juventus confirmed Pirlo’s move to the United States. The 18-month deal with the MLS side will pay Pirlo about $6 million per season.
Pirlo and Lampard will join Spanish soccer legend David Villa, which could allow the MLS expansion team to make a major playoff push in what is a relatively weak Eastern Conference.