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Andrea Pirlo, Italy playmaker, joins New York City FC from Juventus

Juventus' Andrea Pirlo reacts during a Serie A

Juventus' Andrea Pirlo reacts during a Serie A soccer match against Hellas Verona at the Juventus Stadium in Turin, Italy on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015. Credit: AP / Alessandro Di Marco

New York City FC is adding to its collection of international stars, this time signing Andrea Pirlo, the club announced Monday.

Pirlo, a veteran midfielder, arrives on a free transfer from Italian club Juventus, which lost to Barcelona in the 2015 UEFA Champions League final. He is NYC FC's third designated player, joining imports Frank Lampard and David Villa.

The 36-year-old will be available to compete after he joins the club on July 21.

"I have been wanting this experience for a long time and now that the opportunity materialized I wanted to take it," Pirlo said in a statement released by NYC FC. "This is a club on the rise and shares my same hunger to achieve important results in the league. I am hoping to win."

Pirlo has only played for Italian teams since making his pro debut at age 16, but said he chose New York City partly for the "enthusiasm of the people that come to watch the team."

Pirlo won the 2006 World Cup with the Italian national team, where he has 115 caps. Pirlo has two Champions League titles and won the Italian crown six times.

"We have said from the outset that the right player for the third DP slot was worth waiting for," NYC FC coach Jason Kreis said.

"Nobody could question that in Pirlo we are bringing one of the best in the world and one of the finest players to come to MLS. Like David Villa, his final game in Europe was the Champions League Final, which demonstrates a player competing at the highest level of our sport.

"We are getting a player with a competitive spirit and a winning mentality. He's not only won a World Cup, he was the Serie A player of the year in three of the last four seasons."

New York Sports