The maestro is about to conduct his final performance.
New York City FC’s Andrea Pirlo will make the 2017 Major League Soccer season his last as a player. The Italian legend told La Gazzetta dello Sport, “You just realize the time has come. Every day you have physical problems, you can not train as you like because you always have some stuff. At my age, that’s enough.”
As of this writing, there was no comment from New York City FC on Pirlo’s decision to call it quits.
Since the summer of 2015, Pirlo, 38, has been one of New York City FC’s three Designated Players, but this season has seen his playing time become more limited under head coach Patrick Vieira. It had been widely speculated that Pirlo would retire when his contract expired in December.
During this time in MLS with New York City, Pirlo has been a fan favorite with both his home fans and those on the road.
The former Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus star in Serie A has an impressive resume that includes titles in Serie A, Champions League and a World Cup. In fact, Pirlo joined NYCFC following his last appearance in a Champions League final, a 3-1 Juventus loss to Barcelona.
Pirlo’s decision to retire at the end of the season frees up a Designated Player spot for New York City. During its first three seasons, four players have held its DP spots; Pirlo, Frank Lampard, David Villa and Maxi Moralez. This gives the team an opportunity to bring in a younger player to fill NYCFC’s soon-to-be-open third DP spot.
As for his next step, while rumors are sure to abound, Pirlo told La Gazzetta dello Sport, “I don’t know yet. I’ll be back in Italy in December. I have ideas, but give me time to decide.”