NEW YORK – Will they stay or will they go?
Both legends are in their final year of their contracts and both are well over 30 years old, with Pirlo clocking in at 37 and Villa now 35. And though both have found success in MLS, both were non-committal about their futures with NYCFC beyond this season, though Villa did say he’s in talks with the club about an extension.
Villa is coming off a second NYCFC campaign in which he won the 2016 Landon Donovan MLS MVP after finishing second in the Golden Boot race with 23 goals. His 41 goals over the course of his first two seasons is tied for most in MLS in that span.
“In soccer, you never know what will happen in a day, in two days,” the NYCFC captain said. “It’s difficult to pontificate because everything changes from the night to the morning. I’m only thinking about playing well, staying strong, to help my team to be good this year.”
Villa confirmed he is negotiating an extension to his contract, but isn’t concerned about when a deal gets finalized.
“As I told your [fellow reporters] in a press conference some time ago, we are in talks with the club for an extended contract,” Villa said. “I don’t care, for one year more or two years more, we don’t know what will happen in the future. My mind is only thinking about day by day and working strong.”
Patrick Vieira, who is beginning his second season as NYCFC coach, was also nonchalant about Villa’s future with the club. He said it’s likely more a matter of when than if Villa returns.
“I think David wants to sign; we want to keep him. It’s easy,” Vieira said. “We don’t want him to go anywhere -- we want him to stay, the family is really happy. All the parts want to work together. It’s just a question of time and to see what is going to happen. Leave the time to the time.”
Pirlo reportedly is mulling this as his final year playing professionally, and is considering possibly going into coaching. In his first full season – and second overall – with NYCFC, the maestro proved one of the league’s leaders with 11 assists.
“I don’t know if it will be my last season. Now I think about playing and playing well for the club. When it will be the time, I’ll decide the future,” Pirlo said. “I don’t know. I think to play now. After I don’t know what will be my future. It’s important to play well. After this season, I decide if I continue to play or come back to Italy to retire.”