New York City FC confirm signing of Andrea Pirlo from Juventus

The 36-year-old Italian midfielder will officially join the MLS club on 21 July.

New York City FC have ended weeks of speculation by formally announcing the long-awaited signing of Italian legend Andrea Pirlo from Juventus.

The 36-year-old midfielder will officially join NYCFC on 21 July as their third Designated Player, teaming up with fellow big-name star David Villa and Frank Lampard at Yankee Stadium.

Speaking to the MLS expansion club’s website, Pirlo said: “I have been wanting this experience for a long time and now that the opportunity materialized I wanted to take it. This is a Club on the rise and shares my same hunger to achieve important results in the League. I am hoping to win.

“I had several opportunities to play outside of Italy, but I never had a doubt in picking New York for the enthusiasm of the people that come watch the team.

“I met with the coach, Jason Kreis, and he gave me a fantastic impression of the Club. He has well defined ideas in mind, and I am sure we will get on well and create a good relationship to train well and try to win together.”

Pirlo, who has 115 international caps to his name, joins NYCFC after spending his entire career in Italy, where he featured for Brescia, Inter Milan, Reggina and AC Milan, respectively, before joining Juventus in 2011.

The 2006 World Cup winner has made almost 700 club appearances in that time and amassed a glittering collection of trophies, including six Serie A titles, two Italian Cups, two Champions League crowns, two UEFA Super Cups and the 2007 Club World Cup.

Speaking on his signing, NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis added: “We have said from the outset that the right player for the third DP slot was worth waiting for. Nobody could question that in Pirlo we are bringing one of the best in the world and one of the finest players to come to MLS. Like David Villa, his final game in Europe was the Champions League Final, which demonstrates a player competing at the highest level of our sport.

“We are getting a player with a competitive spirit and a winning mentality. He’s not only won a World Cup, he was the Serie A Player of the Year in three of the last four seasons.”

Despite his age, Pirlo’s passing prowess and experience will be a welcome addition to an NYCFC squad which has been going through some struggles during their inaugural campaign.

The club had been sitting bottom of the Eastern Conference after recording just two wins in their opening 13 games but a recent run of four wins in five matches has helped move them up to seventh place.

With David Villa netting six goals in his past six appearances and the incoming Lampard also becoming eligible to feature for the club this week, the added class of Pirlo should give their chances of making the post-season a significant boost.

While there remain concerns over whether coach Kreis will be able to fit two ageing veterans into the same midfield, considering his impressive career, there is little doubt that the former Juve star’s signing is a major coup for both NYCFC and MLS as a whole.

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