Andrea Pirlo Issues Statement on Retirement After NYCFC's Loss vs. Columbus

James DudkoFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2017

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 19: Andrea Pirlo of New York City during MLS fixture between Toronto FC and New York City FC at Yankee Stadium on July 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Andrea Pirlo has retired from football after a successful playing career in both Europe and the United States.

The 38-year-old made the announcement on his official Twitter account (h/t BBC Sport) after completing his stint with Major League Soccer side New York City FC.

Following a 4-3 aggregate defeat to Columbus Crew in the conference semi-final on Sunday, the Italian said: "Not only [is it that] my adventure in New York comes to an end but my journey as a football player as well."

Pirlo's statement also included a note of thanks for "every team that I had the honour to play for" and "every team-mate that I have been pleased to play alongside."

Pirlo has brought his playing career to an end after playing his last game for New York City.
Pirlo has brought his playing career to an end after playing his last game for New York City.EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/Getty Images

By calling time on his playing days, he has brought an end to a career spanning stints with three of Italy's biggest clubs and yielding an impressive trophy haul.

Pirlo played for Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus, winning a total of six Serie A titles and capturing the UEFA Champions League trophy with the Rossoneri in 2003 and 2007.

He was also a success at international level, helping the Azzurri win the FIFA World Cup in 2006.

In terms of playing style, Pirlo was always defined as a midfielder who thrived more thanks to technique and intelligence than physical brawn. He helped redefine the deep-lying playmaker role on Carlo Ancelotti's watch during his days with Milan and later for Antonio Conte's Juventus.

Pirlo defined his career as a deep-lying playmaker for Juventus, Milan and the Italian national team.
Pirlo defined his career as a deep-lying playmaker for Juventus, Milan and the Italian national team.Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

The role of pass-master from deep became fashionable, with Pirlo dictating matches at the highest level for both club and country.

Pirlo left the Bianconeri for New York City in 2015. Injuries marred his final season, as he made only 16 appearances, per Jake Lambourne of The Sun.

Overall, though, Pirlo played out the remainder of his career in the U.S. with the same signature style that defined him as early career.