Andrea Pirlo said goodbye on Twitter this morning. (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
By Michael Lewis
If there was any doubt that Andrea Pirlo had played his final game as a professional soccer player Sunday night, the Italian great announced it on Twitter Monday morning.
Pirlo came on a 90th-minute substitute for New York City FC in its 2-0 win over Columbus Crew SC in the second leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Yankee Stadium. City was eliminated in the aggregate-goals series, 4-3.
There had been reports that Pirlo was calling it a career, but this is the first time he tackled it on social media.
Here is Pirlo’s statement:
“Last match in MLS. As my time in NYCFC comes to an end I would like to say a few words. I want to thank everybody for the kindness and support they have shown me in this incredible city. Thank you to the amazing supporters, thank you to the coaching staff and everybody that work behind the scene[s], thank you to my teammates.
“Not only my adventure in NY comes to an end, but my journey as a football player as well. That is why I would like to take the opportunity to thank my family and my children for the support and love they always give me. Every team that I had the honor to play for, every teammate I have been pleased to play alongside, all the people that made my career such incredible and last but not least, all the fans around the world that always showed me support. You will always be on my side and in my heart.”
Pirlo, 38, was a key player for Italy as it won the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
He replaced defender Ronald Matarrita in the 90th minute and played five minutes of stoppage time.