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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

New York City's Andrea Pirlo to retire at end of MLS season

Hear from NYCFC and their fans as Alexis Nunes recaps the club's home match played more than 100 miles from Yankee Stadium.

New York City FC midfielder Andrea Pirlo has said that he plans to retire at the end of the current Major League Soccer season.

Pirlo, 38, joined NYC in 2015 after helping Juventus win four Serie A titles in a row and playing in the Champions League final against Barcelona.

In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, he said: "You realise yourself that the time has come. Each day, you have physical problems and you can't train as you would like to because there's always some niggle. At my age, it's fine to say enough is enough. You don't have to carry on until you are 50. I'll do something else.

"I don't know what yet. I will return to Italy in December. Assistant of [Antonio] Conte? If that's what people are saying. I have my ideas, but I will allow myself time to decide.

"Am I thinking of coaching? Just because you were a good player doesn't automatically mean you can do it. You need to be willing to do it and prove yourself in the field. That spark within you needs to ignite, and it's not ignited within me yet.

"There's not one right and one wrong way. It depends on the opportunities you are given. If they call you immediately to [coach] a first team, it's hard to refuse. Like I say, I don't have that intention right now. After 25 years of football, I'm going to stay at home with my family. I'll keep myself in form playing golf and tennis."

Pirlo, who has also played for Inter Milan and AC Milan as well as winning the 2006 World Cup with Italy, will be out of contract in December.

He has been a fringe figure under Patrick Vieira this season, playing only 15 of NYC's 32 fixtures.

ESPN FC's Italy correspondent Ben Gladwell contributed to this report.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.

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