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6 top midfielders who switched to lesser leagues in the twilight of their careers

Tejas Parkar
TOP CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 17:52 IST

#4 Andrea Pirlo (New York City FC)

Andrea
Andrea Pirlo represented the likes of Milan and Juventus in Italian football

Upon leaving Juventus, Andrea Pirlo joined Frank Lampard at NYCFC as a 'Designated Player' on a contract reportedly worth $8 million. He made his MLS debut against Orlando City as a substitute, coming on in the 56th Minute and assisting his teams 3rd and 4th goals in a 5-3 win.

In his next game against DC United, he assisted David Villa’s goal in a 3-1 win. However, the team finished outside the qualification places for the MLS Cup. He assisted 5 goals but didn’t score in the entire season.

Pirlo started the 2016 season strongly, assisting David Villa’s winner in a match against the Vancouver Whitecaps. He scored a free kick against the Philadelphia Union, his first goal in the United States. He finished the season with 1 goal and 11 assists. NYCFC reached the 2016 Eastern Conference semi-finals only to lose 7-0 over the course of the two legs.

Persistent injuries restricted Pirlo to just 2 assists in 15 appearances, the last of which came as a substitute against Columbus Crew in the second leg of 2017 Eastern Conference semi-finals. NYCFC won the match 2-0 but lost the tie 3-4. Pirlo announced his retirement from the game the very next day.

Pirlo was approached by Australian side Avondale FC as a short-term marquee signing. However, Pirlo’s management confirmed that l'architetto (the Architect) won’t be joining the club as he had set his sights on management having completed his coaching badges.

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Published 22 Sep 2018, 18:22 IST
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