Soccer: Pirlo thanks NYC after retiring (2)

Buffon calls Italy legend 'unique'

(ANSA) - Rome, November 6 - Italy legend Andrea Pirlo has thanked New York City FC and its fans after retiring as a player.
    Pirlo, 38, who last month said he intended to retire at the end of the Major League Soccer season, tweeted a farewell message after NYC lost to Columbus Crew SC in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Pirlo, a 2006 World Cup winner with Italy, said: "Last match in MLS. As my time in NYFC comes to an end I would to say few words. I want to thank everybody for the kindness and support they have shown me in this incredible city.
    "Thank you to the amazing supporters, thank you to the coaching staff and everybody that work behind the scene, thank you to my teammates.
    "Not only my adventure in NY comes to an end but my journey as a football player as well, that is why I would like to take the opportunity to thank my family and my children for the support and love they always give me, every team that I had the honor to play for, every teammate I have been pleased to play alongside, all the people that made my career such incredible and last but not least, all the fans around the world that always showed me support. You will always be on my side and in my heart." After starting his career with Brescia and Inter Milan, Pirlo joined AC Milan in 2001 and won the Champions League twice and Serie A twice with the Rossoneri, also winning the Coppa Italia and the Club World Cup.
    After 10 seasons with Milan, he was allowed to join Juventus on a free transfer and spent four seasons there, winning another four Serie A titles and another Coppa Italia as well as reaching the 2015 Champions League final.
    Italy skipper Gianluigi Buffon, who last played with Pirlo for the national team in Pirlo's last international, a Euro 2016 qualifier in October 2015, tweeted "anyone who played with Andrea understands the meaning of the word 'unique'".
    The Juve goalie described his former teammate as a "Champion who alternated class, elegance and humility".