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Rome: Italian legend Andrea Pirlo has announced that he will retire from professional football in December when his contract with New York City FC expires.

"You realise that the time has come, every day you have physical problems, you cannot train as you want because you always have some problem," the former AC Milan and Juventus star deep-lying playmaker was quoted as saying by La Gazzetta dello Sport on Sunday.

Pirlo, who has played just 15 of New York City's 32 MLS games this season, said he can't keep playing forever and has to give younger players a chance.

"At my age, that's enough. It's not that you can go on forever until the age of 50. I'll do something else. At 38, it's just right to give young players room. I'm not angry. Instead, I will give a hand to team-mates and to the coach," the 2006 FIFA World Cup winner and 2012 Euro runners-up added.

Pirlo has won the Serie A title four times with Juventus. At Milan, he won the Italian league title and Champions League twice each.

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