Make the most of Andrea Pirlo while you still can because the Italian maestro is hanging up his boots when his contract expires in December.
The 38-year-old, who has played just 15 of New York City FC’s 32 Major League Soccer games this season, announced over the weekend that ‘the time has come’ for him to call it a day.
"You realise that the time has come," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport, per Goal. "Every day you have physical problems, you cannot train as you want because you always have some problem.
"At my age, that's enough. It's not that you can go on forever until the age of 50. I'll do something else.
"At 38, it's just right to give young players room. I'm not angry. Instead, I will give a hand to teammates and to the coach."
Hart won't be sad to see the back of Pirlo
While most football fans have reacted to Pirlo’s comments with sadness, there is one man who’ll be more relieved than most to see the back of the Serie A legend.
We all remember that moment at Euro 2012 when Pirlo mugged off Joe Hart in the penalty shoot-out.
“I had seen that their goalkeeper was playing up a lot,” Pirlo would later say about Hart’s antics in the shoot-out. “He was making funny movements, so I got to the edge of the penalty box, starting my run-up and when I got to the ball, I decided to chip it over him.”
Video: When Hart lost his mind after a Pirlo free-kick in 2014
Two years later and Pirlo came agonisingly close to making Hart look ridiculous for a second time.
The Italian’s remarkable free-kick swerved in the air and had Hart beaten all end’s up. The England goalkeeper, left breathing a huge sigh of relief, was only saved by the crossbar.
The incident, however, appeared to make Hart lose his mind.
Desperate to get the ball back as quickly as possible as England faced defeat in their 2014 World Cup opener, Hart ran behind his goal, booted the advertising hoarding and yelled at one of the ballboy’s “Give me the f***ing ball!”.
You can watch the footage here…
What Hart said to Pirlo after the match
After the final whistle, Hart was filmed saying to Pirlo: “Wow. F***ing hell,” presumably in response to his free-kick.
At least poor old Joe won’t need to worry about Pirlo when England travel to Russia for next summer’s World Cup.
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