Andrea Pirlo Introduced at NYC Press Conference
He was finally official. Andrea Pirlo finally was in downtown New York to officially be proclaimed a member of NYCFC at a press conference Thursday along with head coach Jason Kreis. The questions ranged from easy ones like when Pirlo was going to take the field to age and league quality and whether NYCFC could still make the playoffs.
Jason Kreis is already excited about the possibilities and the numerous things a player like Andrea brings as a former World Cup and UEFA Cup champion. “It’s massive to have a player with the history and experience he has. The position he plays in our group,” Kreis explained. “The central role we are trying to accomplish. We’re happy he is here and looking forward to all the benefits he can bring us.”
Pirlo has visited the city often and is well aware of the large Italian contingent here as well as other demographics. But he seems quite focused on his mission. “I am here not to be a tourist but play. It’s something that comes easily to me, it’s something I enjoy doing and I do it well.” Pirlo exclaimed.
Now that Pirlo is here to join Frank Lampard and David Villa as the big three, NYCFC has proven talent that will make NYC a better team as soon as they arrived. “There are young players that need instruction, coaching, and development,” Kreis pointed out. “They now have three players, two midfielders and a forward that they can lean on and look to for soccer solutions.”
What answers they can provide as far as making the postseason remains to be seen. But just as Lampard said the week when he arrived, it’s a matter of work and mindset. Something champion ballplayers possess and can spread to others. “We still have a long way to go in the season. As the coach already said we have a new team that started completely from scratch.” Pirlo admitted, “At this point we have to turn a new leaf and try to do our best to reach the playoffs and I’m sure with all the work we are going to put into this we will be able to reach that result.”
Pirlo, at 36, may seem like his best years are past. It’s a criticism that MLS has been assaulted with as their reputation for getting names over results have been mixed. In Pirlo’s case he just wants to make sure he doesn’t rush into injury. “I have been really feeling getting into the field. Everything is new and this is so amazing but I am feeling well and the only thing left to do is get to the right physical condition in order to play my best.” Pirlo said.
For Kreis it’s about transitions and in his opinion, every player in soccer has to adjust in some way. Just as MLS has adjusted to improve since its inception in 1996. “The transition will come from playing matches. He was quite special today in the training sessions. We will build him up during the week. It’s a day by day process and we hope by Sunday we will have a role for him.” Pirlo added his opinion of MLS, “The MLS is growing. It’s pretty young. It’s a very physical type of game that’s played here. It’s very demanding. There are a lot of players from South America so the level is improving overall.”
In the end it’s about the team and Pirlo shares that vision. Pirlo was making two million it was reported to play for NYC, a significant amount lower he could still command overseas. But for Pirlo, one has nothing to do with the other. “The most important thing is to play. Then of course for all your qualities it’s only right that you earn some correct amount of money.” Pirlo said, “But I think soccer is one thing and money is another. I have always been able to play for the love of the sport and everyone else can do what they please.”
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