Pirlo bids farewell to football after decades-long career

China Plus/AP Published: 2017-11-07 09:56:31
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Former Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo has announced he is retiring after playing his last game for New York City.

New York City FC's Andrea Pirlo (21), of Italy, acknowledges an ovation from the crowd as he walks off the field after warming up before an MLS soccer game against Orlando City SC at Yankee Stadium, Sunday, July 26, 2015, in New York. [Photo: AP]

New York City FC's Andrea Pirlo (21), of Italy, acknowledges an ovation from the crowd as he walks off the field after warming up before an MLS soccer game against Orlando City SC at Yankee Stadium, Sunday, July 26, 2015, in New York. [Photo: AP]

Pirlo made his final appearance in pro football on Sunday, as a substitute in his club's 2-nil win over the Columbus Crew.

But his team were still eliminated from the playoffs, 4-3 on aggregate.

Pirlo had played for Inter, AC Milan and Juventus before joining the Major League Soccer club two years ago.

He was part of a Milan team that won two Serie A titles, two Champions Leagues and a Club World Cup between 2003 and 2011.

Andrea Pirlo's last stop in Serie A was in Junventus between 2012 and 2015. [Photo: Xinhua]

Andrea Pirlo's last stop in Serie A was in Junventus between 2012 and 2015. [Photo: Xinhua]

He was instrumental in Juventus winning four successive Scudettos between 2012 and 2015.

In his national career, the 38-year-old won 116 caps for Italy and helped them win the 2006 World Cup.

Italy's Andrea Pirlo reacts after Spain defeated Italy 4-0 at the Euro 2012 soccer championship final in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, July 1, 2012. [Photo: Xinhua]

Italy's Andrea Pirlo reacts after Spain defeated Italy 4-0 at the Euro 2012 soccer championship final in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, July 1, 2012. [Photo: Xinhua]

He was also a 2012 European Championship runner-up, after losing in the final against Spain.

Pirlo has been said to be one of the best holding midfielders ever.

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