New York City midfielder Andrea Pirlo will officially call time on his playing career at the end of the year.
The former AC Milan and Juventus playmaker made the announcement to Gazzetta dello Sport, saying that his physical limitations are now catching up with him and it is now time to give younger players a chance:
“You realise that the time has come. Every day you have physical problems, you cannot train as you want because you always have some problem.
“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.
“At 38, it’s just right to give young players room. I’m not angry. Instead, I will give a hand to team-mates and to the coach.”
The 38-year-old will retire at the end of the current MLS season, and in doing so will bring the curtain down on a stellar playing career that has seen him win many of the game’s top competitions. Over the course of a playing career that has lasted for over two decades and included more than 750 club appearances, Pirlo won six Serie A titles with Milan and Juve (also winning two Champions League titles with the former), and reached the pinnacle of every footballer’s ambition when he lifted the World Cup with Italy in 2006.
He left Italy to join New York in 2015, but has made just 15 MLS appearances for the American side in an injury-hit season.
In this week’s edition of the Mixer Football Podcast we discuss the timing of Martin O’Neill’s new contract, look at a massive weekend for the Ireland national side as well as the usual analysis of the latest League of Ireland action.