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Andrea Pirlo to retire following 2017 season

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The Italian legend has decided to ride off into the sunset come the winter

Italy v Bulgaria - UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Following an illustrious professional career that has spanned over 20 years, New York City FC midfielder and Italian legend Andrea Pirlo has announced that he will be hanging up the old boots after his contract with the Bronx Blues expires in December.

Pirlo’s partner Valentina Baldini announced in August that the couple would be departing New York after the 2017 MLS season following the birth of their twin boys Leonardo and Tommaso (who have full U.S. citizenship. Just sayin’!). Nothing of Pirlo’s future footballing plans were revealed.

Since joining NYCFC as a Designated Player in July of 2015, the man they call “the Maestro” has never quite lived up to immense hype that was placed on him upon his arrival, be it fair or not. More often than not, the “Pirlo Party” in the Big Apple has looked more like a small weekend powwow.

However, this is Andrea Pirlo we are talking about. And despite the fact that the Five Burroughs never really got to experience “the Architect” in his prime, we will value that he came in the first place and gave us amazing, albeit limited, plays that will forever live on in NYCFC lore such as this.

Andrea Pirlo will forever be known for his exceptional passing ability as well as his free kick taking. Since beginning his professional career in 1995 with Brescia, Pirlo has accumulated several major trophies including six Serie A championships, two UEFA Champions League titles, two UEFA Super Cups, two Coppa Italias, and a World Cup among a slew of other team-based and individual accolades.

We at Hudson River Blue congratulate Andrea Pirlo on an amazing, storied career and wish him the absolute best in all of his post-football endeavors.