Andrea Pirlo has announced has retired from professional football following his final game in the MLS with New York City FC.
The 38-year-old came on for the final few minutes of New York’s 2-0 win over Columbus Crew on Sunday after seeing his involvement dwindle to a trickle over the course of the prevailing season.
Pirlo has featured in just 15 of the New York’s 32 fixture due, at least in part, to a pesky knee injury.
After originally floating his intention to retire in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport at the start of October, the Italian midfielder made it official on Monday afternoon with a statement issued on social media…
— Andrea Pirlo (@Pirlo_official) November 6, 2017
Pirlo’s farewell passage reads thus:
As my time in NYCFC comes to an end, I would like to say a few words.
I want to thank everybody for the kindness and support they have shown me in this incredible city.
Thank-you to the amazing supporters, thank you to the coaching staff and everybody that works behind the scenes. Thank you to my teammates.
Not only is my adventure in New York coming to an end but my journey as a footballer as well.
That is why I would like to take the opportunity to thank my family and my children for the support and love they always give me. Every team that I had the honour to play for, every teammate I’ve 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.
New York responded by thanking their ‘Maestro’ for his service…
— New York City FC (@NYCFC) November 6, 2017
There’s goes the last of great – and we mean great – midfield saunterers.