Pirlo: I’m as hungry as ever

Date published: Friday 24th July 2015 8:12

The midfielder was unveiled by the MLS side on Thursday after leaving Juventus to join New York – where he will play with Frank Lampard and David Villa.

Despite being 36, Pirlo insists his best years are not behind him and he feels as hungry to play as ever.

“Unfortunately I can’t turn back the clock – this is my age,” he told reporters.

“I am not old, I want to keep playing and feel good. It doesn’t seem to me as if the other players are that much younger than me, so again those who want to talk can do so.

“My passion is always the same. In fact, with a new adventure the passion always grows.

“Fortunately I still have this hunger and this passion, otherwise I would’ve stayed in Italy and retired.

“As long as I have this passion, I will continue playing football.”

Pirlo is set to pocket over £1m in wages from New York – considerably less than the likes of Lampard (£3.85m), Steven Gerrard (£4.05m) and top earner Kaka (£4.56m).

But the Italy legend says there’s no financial incentive, and that he just wants to keep playing, while also trying to raise the profile of the American league and helping New York in their inaugural season.

“Money was never an issue for me, as football comes first,” he said.

“When you are playing at the highest level, it’s right to earn well, but money is one thing and football is another.

“I’ve never needed to play for money. I play because I love football. Other people can say what they want.”

He added: “In my career I have never been someone who ends up on the front pages of magazines.

“I came to America not to be a tourist or make adverts, but to be a football player – it’s what I do best.

“If I can help MLS to grow in popularity, then that’s a boost, but the important thing is the team.

“The season is still long and this is a new team that started from scratch. Now we need to look forward and reach the play-offs, so I’m sure with daily work we’ll achieve our objectives.”

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