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Andrea Pirlo

Pirlo plays final match as NYCFC is eliminated from MLS playoffs

07:09 SAST 2017/11/06
Andrea Pirlo New York City FC
The 38-year-old Italian made a late cameo in what was the final match of his illustrious career

Andrea Pirlo played his final match for New York City FC on Sunday, making a late cameo as his side was eliminated by the Columbus Crew in MLS playoff action.

The 38-year-old Italian legend came on in the 90th minute of NYCFC's 2-0 win over the Columbus Crew at Yankee Stadium as Patrick Vieira's side pushed for the third goal they needed on aggregate.

But Pirlo, who had been an unused substitute in NYCFC's previous five matches, was unable to produce a final moment of magic as Columbus advanced to the Eastern Conference final with a 4-3 aggregate win.

On Monday, Pirlo confirmed he will retire in a message posted to fans on Twitter

Pirlo indicated last month that he planned to retire at the end of the MLS season, telling La Gazzetta dello Sport: "You realize 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."

After playing a key role as NYCFC finished second in the Eastern Conference in 2016, Pirlo saw himself phased out this year while appearing in just 15 of 34 regular season matches.

The former AC Milan and Juventus star ends his stint with NYCFC having recorded one goal and 19 assists in 62 MLS appearances over two and a half seasons.

"I think he has meant a lot to this football club," Vieira said postgame. "He's been a professional. He's been a really good example for the young players that we have on our team and if they conduct themselves like Andrea, I think they will have a good career."