Andrea Pirlo was a wizard on the pitch during his prime and, though his skills have waned over the years, the midfielder’s superhuman abilities remain as he struts his stuff for New York City FC.
The 36-year-old is plying his trade in the MLS, which kicked off this past weekend, and his team earned a 4-3 victory over Chicago Fire on Sunday.
However, Patrick Vieira’s team might have only conceded twice if Josh Saunders had listened to Pirlo. The Italian told the New York goalkeeper where David Accam was going to put his penalty, but Saunders ignored Pirlo’s instructions. You can check out the video by scrolling down the page.
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Pirlo points right, Accam hits it right. Pure wizardry.
Admittedly, in the heat of the moment the last place Saunders is likely to be looking is in Pirlo’s direction. As alluring as that beard is, Saunders’ eyes were fixed on Accam.
Check out Pirlo telling NYCFC's goalkeeper where to go
It means a victorious start for Vieira as his team looks to win the Eastern Conference.
Yet it was a hard-fought three points. Thomas McNamara gave the away side the lead before Razvan Cocis equalised.
New York regained their lead and added another before the interval through Tony Taylor and Khiry Shelton’s strikes.
But Kennedy Igboananike made it 3-2 before Mix Diskerud regained New York’s two-goal advantage.
Acclaim ensured a nervy finish with his penalty in the 72nd minute but Pirlo and co. held on against the Eastern Conference’s worst team last season.
Frank Lampard missed the season opener due to a calf strain.
The former Chelsea midfielder spoke about his adjustment to life in America in a recent interview with Men in Blazers (per the NYCFC Nation).
Lampard joined Steven Gerrard in the MLS when he signed for New York in 2014.
He said: “What I've really enjoyed is just settling in, feeling at home here. I felt at home very quickly, I've tried to embrace it.
“I think I've spent a lot of years as a London boy, playing for London clubs, watching players come in from all over the world and the ones that tended to do well embraced the culture everywhere they were living, so I've set out to embrace it.
MLS is closing the gap to Premier League
The 36-year-old added that the MLS’ unpredictable nature is its biggest attraction.
"I have found the level to be very high and I like the fact that you go all over the country, whatever team you’re playing you get a tough game.
“I think the Premier League is like that now but for years the Premier League was six great teams and you know what the results would be week in, week out.
“I think the MLS as you saw with the team that won it last year, quite un-fancied, struggled early on in the season, and they go on and win it. It’s closing the gap towards the Premier League, and the top leagues in the world and I found it very tough.
“You have to be at your best, you can't think you can come here cause you played in the premier league, stroll around and be OK. The minute you do that then you're going to struggle because it's a very good league.”