Andrea Pirlo has officially announced his retirement from soccer.
Bringing the curtain down on a glittering 22-year top-flight career, Il Maestro made his final New York City FC appearance in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Columbus Crew SC.
A World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, Andrea will be remembered as one of the finest registas in the history of the game and hangs up his cleats following 60 Regular Season appearances for City.
Pirlo said: “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 work behind the scene, thank you to my teammates.
“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 my children for the support and love they always give me, every team that I had the honor to play for, every teammate I have been pleased to play alongside, all the people that made my career so incredible.
“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.”
Andrea joined NYCFC in the summer of July 2015, becoming the team’s third Designated Player after David Villa and Frank Lampard.
He made 15 appearances in our inaugural season, before going on to play 32 games and recorded a team-high 11 assists in 2016 as the Boys in Blue reached the MLS Playoffs for the first time.
In his final season at Yankee Stadium, Andrea played 15 Regular Season games and made two assists, helping his side to second place in the Supporters’ Shield race.
A six-time champion of Serie A and a two-time UEFA Champions League victor, Pirlo also won 116 caps for the Italian National Team, appearing in three FIFA World Cup tournaments.
Pirlo made his final appearance in the 90th minute of NYCFC’s 4-3 aggregate Eastern Conference semifinals defeat to Columbus as the Boys in Blue fell agonizingly short.
Everyone at New York City FC would like to congratulate Andrea on an incredible career and to thank him for his excellent contribution to NYCFC over the past two and a half years.
Tweet us @NYCFC using the #GrazieMaestro hashtag to express your appreciation for Andrea and to wish him well in retirement.