Andrea Pirlo will be joining New York City FC in the MLS and becomes the latest big name player to join the league. Pirlo has over 100 caps for the Italian national team and numerous titles with AC Milan and Juventus. He might be one of the fittest 36-year-old soccer players in the game today and was an instrumental part in Juventus’ success last season.
The list of big name players in the MLS is getting to be quite long now as in addition to Pirlo, the league can show names like Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, David Villa, Robbie Keane, Sebastian Giovinco and Kaka. Then you have American-born stars like Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley just to name a few. The league is in a very good spot and Pirlo’s arrival is sure to make even more people interested in soccer in New York.
— New York City FC (@NYCFC) July 6, 2015
Since Pirlo is such a beloved player back in Italy after all his success with Milan, Juventus and the Italian national team, I’m sure that a lot of Italians will keep an extra eye on how he fares here in the U.S. and who knows, maybe NYCFC will have an Italian fanbase at some point down the road.
Pirlo brings a wealth of experience to NYCFC, and his resume is really impressive with six Serie A titles (two with Milan and four with Juventus), two Champions League titles (both with Milan) and 115 caps for the Italian national team and a 2006 World Cup title. It’s not every day that a team can add someone like that to their side. When Pirlo gets the green light later this month to start playing, NYCFC can field a midfield with Pirlo and Lampard, which is truly impressive.
These two players are some of the best of our generation in their positions and it will be really interesting to follow NYCFC for the remainder of the season. Despite them being a bit older, they still have plenty of qualities that makes them among the elite in the league.
Pirlo is the perfect “regista” and has been one of the best playmakers in the world for a long time. A regista is a deep-lying playmaker that will start a lot of the attacks for the team. He will either transport the ball up the pitch or deliver crosses out to the flanks. Pirlo is a master at this and he’s also great on set pieces and has scored a bunch of beautiful free-kick goals throughout his career.
Even last season, he was integral in Juventus league title and run to the Champions League final. He doesn’t have to rely on speed when playing as a regista and he still has the technical abilities to get out of a bind when pressured with the ball.
It’s a real feather in the cap for NYCFC to get him over to the MLS and it was a good move from the club that they starting courting him earlier in the year. The rumors of Pirlo’s potential move to the MLS has been out there for a while, and when Pirlo was seen at a New York Yankees game, we sort of figured that things might be moving in the right direction.
He leaves Juventus after winning four straight Serie A titles and playing over 160 games for the Bianconeri. He will join his new team on July 21 and had the following to say to NYCFC.com:
“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,” Pirlo said. “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.”
The addition of big-name players like Pirlo, Gerrard and Lampard is great for the MLS as it raises the reputation of the league throughout Europe and the rest of the world. It also means more exposure, as the MLS can now be seen in several countries around the globe, including Great Britain through Sky Sports and the rest of Europe through Eurosport.