Italian legend Andrea Pirlo retires from football

Andrea Pirlo has announced he is retiring from football after playing his last game for New York City FC in the MLS.

Pirlo, 38-year-old won 116 caps for Italy and helped them win the 2006 World Cup. He began his career at Brescia in 1998, and has also played for Inter, AC Milan and Juventus, before moving to New York City FC in July 2015 and playing for the MLS side for two seasons.

In October, he announced that he would retire at the end of the MLS season, and has make good by formally retiring after his club was knocked out of the playoffs.

“I want to thank everybody for the kindness and support they have shown me in this incredible city,” Pirlo said in an official statement. “Thank you to the amazing supporters, thank you to the coaching staff and everybody that works behind the scenes, thank you to my team-mates.”

“Not only my adventure in NY comes to an end but my journey as a football player as well. That is why I would like to take the opportunity to thank my family and children for the support and love they always give me, every team that I had the honour to play for, every team-mate that I have been pleased to play alongside, all the people that made my career so incredible, and last but not least, all the fans around the world that always showed me support.

“You will always be on my side and in my heart.”

In addition to the World Cup, Pirlo had gained numerous domestic honours in his career including two Serie A titles, two Champions Leagues and a Club World Cup between 2003 and 2011 with Milan, before playing an instrumental role in helping Juventus win four successive Scudettos between 2012 and 2015.

After arriving in the states, he has helped New York City FC manager Patrick Vieira reach the MLS play-offs in each of the past two seasons, although he was unable to end his career with any further trophies.

Defending Italian champions Juventus has described him as a “true genius”, and Vieira said Pirlo “changed football forever”.

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