Andrea Pirlo announces retirement

HARRISON, NJ - JUNE 24: New York City FC midfielder Andrea Pirlo (21) warms up during the first half of the Major League Soccer game between the New York Red Bulls and New York City FC on June 24, 2017, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

Legendary Italian soccer player Andrea Pirlo has announced his retirement, effective when his contract with New York City FC expires in December, according to Goal.com.

The 38-year-old Pirlo has played in just 15 of New York City FC’s 32 games this season and feels that the time has come for him to step away from the game, at least as a player.

“You realize that the time has come,” Pirlo told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “Every day you have physical problems, you cannot train as you want because you always have some problem.”

Pirlo has been playing for New York City FC since 2015. The midfielder last played in Europe during the 2014-15 campaign, his final season with Juventus, where he played in 33 games and scored five goals.

“At my age, that’s enough. It’s not that you can go on forever until the age of 50. I’ll do something else,” he said. “At 38, it’s just right to give young players room. I’m not angry. Instead, I will give a hand to teammates and to the coach.”

Pirlo is going back to Italy in December, and he says he might work with Chelsea coach Antonio Conte, who is Pirlo’s former coach.

“I’ll do something else, I’ll be back in Italy in December,” he said. “Work with Conte? They say things, I have some ideas, but give me time to decide.”

Pirlo won a World Cup with Italy back in 2006 and was the man of the match three times, including the final against France.

He has been playing professionally since 1994-95.

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