?Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has taken to social media to pay tribute to Italian legend Andrea Pirlo, who retired last weekend after he played his final game for MLS side New York City.
The 38-year-old old brought down the curtain on an illustrious career, which has seen him win two Champions League titles, six Serie As and a World Cup with Italy in 2006.
Zidane took to his official Instagram page to praise the retired midfield star, uploading a picture of both players wearing the now-iconic number 21 shirt at Juventus. The former France international’s caption reads “Grazie mille maestro”, which translates in English as “Thank you very much, maestro.”
Pirlo began his club career with Italian side Brescia, where he helped his side win Serie B and win a precious promotion to Serie A. After sealing big move to San Siro giants Inter Milan, Pirlo struggled to find form in his position behind the strikers, and eventually moved on to AC Milan after loans spells with Reggina and his former side Brescia.
The charismatic Italian seemed a player reborn in his new role with Milan, and in his new role as a playmaker from deep he became renowned as one of the finest central midfielders in world football. After being part of an iconic mid-00s Milan side, Pirlo went on to star for the dominant Juventus, who dominated Serie A for a number of years with their carefully assembled squad.
While injury problems blighted the end of his career at MLS side New York City, Pirlo still played an important role at the club, making 62 appearances and contributing one goal and 18 assists for his side.
Pirlo will long be remembered as one of the classiest passers in the game, and fans of the tenacious midfielders will be eager to see what his plans are for retirement.