NYCFC's Andrea Pirlo announces end of "my journey as a football player"

One of modern soccer's all-time greats has called time on an epic career, as New York City FC midfielder Andrea Pirlo took to Twitter on Monday morning to confirm his retirement. 

"Thank you to the amazing supporters, thank you to the coaching staff and everybody that work behind the scene [sic], thank you to my teammates. Not only my adventure in NY comes to an end but my journey as a football player as well," wrote the Italian international and 2006 World Cup winner, dropping the curtain on an illustrious 22-year professional run marked by myriad team and personal achievements at the game's highest levels in Serie A and on the international stage. 

Pirlo made his final match appearance in NYCFC's 2-0 Eastern Conference Semifinals second leg win over Columbus on Sunday, coming off the bench in the second half as City chased in vain the third goal that would have won the series and capped an improbable comeback from their 4-1 first-leg deficit

He finishes his two-and-a-half-year MLS career with a goal and 18 assists in 62 overall matches in league and postseason action, helping NYCFC reach the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs the past two seasons after finishing near the bottom of the East standings in their frustrating 2015 debut campaign.