Midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo brought down the curtain on his illustrious football career on Monday, after playing his last game for New York City.
“Not only my adventure in NY comes to an end but my journey as a football player as well,” Pirlo, who has 116 caps for his country, said in a message on Twitter.
The 38-year-old midfielder leaves the game with two Champions League titles, six Serie A crowns, the 2006 World Cup he won with Italy, as well as a host of other honours accumulated in two decades.
Pirlo’s career took off with AC Milan in the early 2000s, when Carlo Ancelotti moved him to a deeper role just in front of the defence, allowing his playmaking talents to really shine.
Milan won the Champions League and Italian Cup in 2003 with Pirlo pulling the strings, and the team won the Serie A title the following year as he continued to blossom in the ‘regista’ role that has since become synonymous with him.
By the time he won the World Cup, Pirlo was being hailed as the world’s best playmaker and when his form at Milan began to decline, he was offered a move to Juventus.
He enjoyed a renaissance at the Turin club, leading Juventus to the first of the four consecutive Serie A titles he won with them in his debut season, before moving to the United States in July 2015.
Pirlo helped New York City reach the MLS play-offs in each of the past two seasons, but was unable to add to his trophy haul with the club.