As if Andrea Pirlo walking around New York City in a New York Yankees on more than one occasion wasn't enough of a hint, the announcement we've been expecting for days has arrived. Andrea Pirlo, the man who played a huge role in Juventus getting back to the top of the mountain in Serie A, is heading to the United States.
Instead of playing out the final year of his contract in Turin, Pirlo, at age 36, is coming to America to play for New York City FC and in Major League Soccer. Juventus announced on Monday that the Maestro's wonderful four-year stint in Turin has come to an end, with Pirlo head to America to close out his storied career.
The move closes what was a trophy-filled four years in Turin for Pirlo, who arrived on a free transfer in the summer of 2011. He played a huge role in Juventus' revival under Antonio Conte, taking over the center of a new-look Juventus midfield that was sorely lacking his class, passing and overall brilliance. Milan cast him aside thinking he didn't have much left in the tank, but it was Juventus which saw there was still plenty there despite him entering his mid-30s.
Pirlo won a Serie A title in all four of his seasons with Juventus, as well as making it back to the Champions League final, which ended up being his 164th and final appearance in black and white stripes.
But now it's off to the United States for Mr. Pirlo, where he joins a handful of former European stars, including former Milan teammate and current Orlando City SC midfielder Kaka. Oh what fun they will have playing on a pair of expansion franchises.
"It has been an honour and a privilege to have shared these four fantastic seasons with Andrea and all associated with Juventus Football Club wish him the very best for the future," the end of a statement on Juventus' official website read. "Thanks for everything, Maestro, and good luck."
Yeah, pretty much. The #GrazieMaestro hashtag on Twitter couldn't be more appropriate now that the anticipated news has become official news.