Grazie, Maestro: Andrea Pirlo announces his retirement

Andrea Pirlo's 22-year career came to an end on Sunday night. After having not played for more than a month, the Italian maestro came on for the final minute of New York City FC's 2-0 win over Columbus Crew SC that was not enough to overturn the 4-1 loss at Columbus.

Photo: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The 38-year-old Pirlo announced his retirement on Monday, ending a 22-year career as a pro that began with his hometown team Brescia two days after he turned 16 in 1995.

Pirlo won two Serie A titles and two UEFA Champions League titles with AC Milan and four Serie A titles with Juventus. He also won the 2006 World Cup with Italy. In his role as a deep-lying playmaker, he was one of the best passers of his generation.

He was 36 when he left Juve in 2015 to join NYCFC and struggled in MLS. He started 32 of 34 games in his first full season in the league in 2016 but played just 15 games in 2017 and registered only two assists.

In a statement, NYCFC said Pirlo "will be remembered as one of the finest registas in the history of the game." Juventus described him as a "true genius of the Beautiful Game" and it's been an honor to share the journey with you. Grazie, Maestro."

5 comments about "Grazie, Maestro: Andrea Pirlo announces his retirement".
  1. beautiful game, November 7, 2017 at 10:06 a.m.

    One of the best footballers of his generation. He made the game beautiful in spite of the NYFC shortcomings.

  2. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, November 7, 2017 at 11:44 a.m.

    More anti-MLS stuff from you.  Pirlo barely got on the field this season because he was no longer good enough.  When he did play in prior years, he was largely ineffective.  He's the perfect example of the over the hill DP that MLS brought in quite a bit in prior years.  Luckily, we are seeing fewer DPs like this and more young up and coming guys like Almiron.  That's the way forward.

  3. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, November 7, 2017 at 11:45 a.m.

    And just to be clear, Pirlo was a legend in his prime.  One of the greats.  But his time had passed by the time he came to MLS.

  4. Kent James, November 7, 2017 at 11:20 a.m.

    Certainly one of the best passers from a deep-lying position ever.  Class act.  Well done.

  5. frank schoon, November 7, 2017 at 11:31 a.m.

    The USSF should think serious about retaining him, bringing him in the developmental program. He has too much knowledge and experience and skill too let him go. As President of USSF, I would approach people like this to further infuse our knowledge and experience base for US soccer...

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