Pirlo confirms his retirement

Andrea Pirlo has finally called time on his career, wrapping up an exceptional 20 years in the game, in the United States with New York City FC.

A World Cup winner with Italy, a double Champions League winners with AC Milan alongside numerous other league and cup titles, Pirlo has dominated world football since bursting onto the scene with Brescia in 1995.

Pirlo's natural talent was unquestionable, and he soon signed by Milan, where spent 10 incredible years. But, just when it was thought Pirlo's powers were waning, he reinvented himself at Juventus, where he won six more trophies – before moving to New York to see out his playing days.

An emotional Pirlo released a statement after New York City's 2-0 win over Columbus Crew.

He wrote: "As my time in NYFC comes to an end, I would like to say a few words.

"I want to thank everybody for the kindness and support they have shown me in this incredible city.

"Thank you to the amazing supporters, thank you to the coaching staff and everybody that works behind the scenes, thank you to my team-mates.

"Not only my adventure in NY comes to an end but my journey as a football player as well.

"That is why I would like to take the opportunity to thank my family and children for the support and love they always give me, every team that I had the honour to play for, every team-mate that I have been pleased to play alongside, all the people that made my career so incredible, and last but not least, all the fans around the world that always showed me support.

"You will always be on my side and in my heart."