Andrea Pirlo is on the verge of being unveiled as the latest MLS and New York City FC star signing on Friday after agreeing personal terms with the Big Apple club, according to various sources.
If and when he joins the team, Pirlo will be New York City’s third Designated Player. The Italian midfielder will find himself in good company alongside Frank Lampard and David Villa in a star-studded lineup.
Italian national team teammate Sebastian Giovinco, who plays for Toronto, convinced Pirlo of the benefits of joining a MLS team. “I spoke to Andrea and told him what I think: that this [MLS] is an experience worth having,” he said.
After a disappointing finish to Juventus’ season that saw them lose the UEFA Champions League trophy to Barcelona, Pirlo has been looking for a fresh start. Joining NYCFC would be a major victory for the new MLS team as Pirlo is often seen as one of the best midfielders of his generation and has the resume to prove it. The move could prove lucrative for the Italian as well. MLS is splashing the cash for major signings including salaries in the range of $6 million per year for Lampard as well as Orlando City’s Kaká.
Pirlo’s career has been outstanding to say the least. The 36 year old has won 6 Serie A titles, 2 Champions League trophies as well as one World Cup trophy. He is deadly on set-pieces and possesses a unique quality to place the ball almost anywhere. With NYCFC riding a three-game winning streak, his services could prove to be the final piece to put the New York club back on track for the playoffs.
Despite being 36 years old, Pirlo has not seen a drop in quality these past few years and would likely excel in the midfield of a MLS team, especially a newly-formed team looking to establish an identity within the league. During the 2014-2015 season for Juventus, he scored five goals in 20 appearances and played a large role not just as a star midfielder but as a leader for the Italian champions.
Currently NYCFC sits in eight place, two spots away from the playoffs and five away from fellow expansion team Orlando City. A dynamic and charismatic midfielder like Pirlo could make all the difference, especially when he will be playing alongside not only Lampard and Villa but Mix Diskerud as well. Having such a dynamic player would not only benefit New York but it would look good for the league as a whole.