The world of football has paid tribute to Andrea Pirlo, after he announced his retirement earlier today.
The 38-year-old has hung up his boots for the final time, after coming on as a late substitute for New York City FC in last night’s MLS play-off.
Former clubs, teammates and others have been quick to pay tribute to Pirlo, with former club Juventus calling him “a true genius of the beautiful game”.
Milan, another of his former clubs, recounted the trophies he won in Rossonero, before wishing him "all the best".
Ex England striker Gary Lineker described the midfielder as “peerless”, stating that Pirlo was “one of the great midfielders of his generation. A beautiful footballer”.
Andrea Pirlo has announced his retirement from football. One of the great midfielders of his generation. A beautiful footballer. #peerless— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 6, 2017
Bayern Munich paid tribute to his “incredible career”, while Monaco’s Stevan Jovetic posted a picture of himself playing against Pirlo, with the caption “legend”.
“Many people admired you doing incredible things with a football, things that are impossible for ordinary people,” wrote Leonardo Bonucci on Instagram.
“I had the luck of seeing you do them even with an American Football!! Thank you for making me and everybody else grow, and for teaching us how to play football.
“You were great, Maestro.”
Gianluigi Buffon also praised his former Italy and Juventus teammate, writing "those who have played with Andrea understand the true meaning of the word 'unique'".
Fabio Cannavaro, who captained Italy to the 2006 World Cup recounted a moment from the final against France.
"Listen, Fabio, if Grosso scores are we world champions?" Pirlo is said to have asked, to which Cannavaro replied in the affirmative.
The former centre-back finished by saying "it was an honour to have played and won with you".
Andrea:”Senti Fabio ma se Grosso fa gol, siamo campioni del mondo? Fabio:”Eh, sì” E’ stato un onore aver giocato e vinto con te! pic.twitter.com/DIm10tvbBY— Fabio Cannavaro (@fabiocannavaro) November 6, 2017
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