Kevin-Prince Boateng pays tribute to Italy legend Andrea Pirlo

New York City went out despite winning the leg 2-0 with David Villa scoring a penalty

New York City went out despite winning the leg 2-0 with David Villa scoring a penalty

Former Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo has announced he is retiring from football after playing his last game for New York City.

NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira, whose team was eliminated from MLS playoffs on aggregate, applauded Pirlo's professionalism and service to the club after Sunday's match.

On Monday afternoon, the Italian icon thanked fans, coaches and team-mates in a classy statement on Twitter.

"Not only is my adventure in NY coming to an end but also my journey as a footballer".

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.

Pirlo began his career at Brescia before joining Inter for £1.8m in 1998.

He struggled to nail down a starting place at Inter, where he was deployed behind the strikers, and was signed by city rivals AC Milan in 2001 with doubts looming over his effectiveness.

His incredible trophy haul includes six Serie A titles, two Champions League titles, two Coppa Italia titles and one World Cup.

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In 2011, days after his 32nd birthday and with his Milan contract set to expire, Pirlo made a surprise move to Juventus.

ANDREA PIRLO HAS thanked New York City FC fans for their support after he played the last game of his career yesterday.

He also accumulated 116 caps for the Italian national team, making joint fourth in the rankings alongside Daniele De Rossi.

The 38-year midfielder, who won 116 caps for Italy across a 13-year worldwide career, helped the side with the 2006 World Cup in Germany. In an global career spanning over 13 years, Pirlo went on to play 116 matches for Italy and scored 13 goals.

Pirlo also played a major part of Italy's 2012 European Championship campaign as they finished Runners up to Spain losing 4-0 in the final.

"You realise yourself that the time has come". Pirlo scored in the shoot-out and cemented his "coolness" status with an audacious chipped penalty down the centre of the goal, known as a Panenka.

As well as helping the Azzurri become world champions, Pirlo also won many domestic honours during his 22-year career.

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