Major League Soccer star Andrea Pirlo will retire from football at the end of the year.
The midfielder’s contract with New York City Football Club comes to an end in December.
Responding to speculation, Pirlo has now confirmed that he will hang up his boots at the end of his current deal:
“You just realise that the time has come,” he told Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Every day you have physical problems, you cannot train as you like because you always have some stuff. At my age, that’s enough. It’s not that you can go on forever to 50.”
Despite a knee problem disrupting his season, Pirlo will remain with the club for the remainder of the 2017 season. If NYC FC manage to go all the way, he will play his final game with the clubbing the MLS Cup final on December 9.
Pirlo calls time on his career aged 38 after two seasons with New York City.
The marquee signing was already past his prime when he signed. However, he has still managed to make 58 appearances during his two year stint in the United States.
Although, he has seen his role reduced this season. He has made just 15 appearances for the club and his abilities have visibly declined.
Many feels that it’s the right time for the Italian playmaker to bow out of the game.
Pirlo has been quiet on his future. He refused to reveal what he plans to do next. However, rumours have linked him with a move to Premier League side Chelsea, where he would join up with his former Juventus coach as assistant manager.
Addressing the Chelsea link, Pirlo said:
“Work with Conte? They say things. I have some ideas, but give me time to decide.”
Andrea Pirlo retirement: the end of a spectacular career
He hangs up his boots having played in 752 club matches in a glittering career that saw him dominate Italian football with Serie A heavyweights AC Milan and Juventus.
His trophy haul includes six Serie A titles, two Champions Leagues and two Coppa Italias. Likewise, he also won football’s biggest prize, the World Cup, with Italy back in 2006.
When he retires, he will have completed 22 seasons as a professional footballer. He started his senior career with Brescia Calcio back in 1994 and features for the likes of Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus.
While his career is coming to an end, Pirlo will forever be known as one of football’s greats.