Andrea Pirlo not a MLS 'tourist' as he prepares for New York City FC debut

Andrea Pirlo insists that he is not simply a "tourist" in the United States as he prepares to make his MLS bow for New York City FC.

Pirlo, 36, left Juventus this summer to sign for NYCFC, and is due to feature for his new side against Orlando City at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.

While fellow NYCFC recruit Frank Lampard will miss the game with a calf injury, Italy international Pirlo has fought back against suggestions that his move to the United States was motivated by lifestyle rather than a sporting decision.

Primi giorni... @NYCFC

- Andrea Pirlo (@Pirlo_official) July 25, 2015

Pirlo, who arrived in New York earlier this week, told reporters: "I'm not here to be a tourist but to play. It's something that comes easy to me, something I enjoy doing and something I feel I do well.

"We still have a long way to go in the season. We have a new team, a team that started from scratch this year. We have to turn a new leaf and try to do our best to reach the playoffs.

"I'm sure with all the work we'll put into this, we'll be able to reach that result."

NYCFC coach Jason Kreis is looking forward to seeing Pirlo in action, saying: "It's always been our goal and objective to play a style that would suit Andrea.

"We haven't always achieved that goal in all our games this year, but it's been our objective to play a possession game, a dominant game and a game where we dictate the tempo of the match.

"With someone who dictates the tempo of matches really well, we think this should be a perfect fit.

"With the additions of the players we're making right now, we feel that can be the tipping point that pushes us where we want to be."

Pirlo was named on UEFA's 2014-15 Best Player in Europe 10-man shortlist earlier this month.

The midfielder is up against four former Juventus teammates as well as Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Eden Hazard for the honour.

Pirlo has won six Serie A titles -- including the last four in a row with Juventus -- two Champions trophies, and the 2006 World Cup with Italy.

Related Video
Pirlo means business in NYC
Pirlo means business in NYC
New York City FC recruit Andrea Pirlo insists his foray into the MLS isn't simply about helping the league grow, but helping City to succeed on the pitch.

Pirlo trains with NYCFC for the first time
Pirlo trains with NYCFC for the first time
Andrea Pirlo trained with his New York City FC team mates for the first time as he prepares for his MLS debut.
Related Topics:
sportsespnandrea pirlomajor league soccernew york city fcorlando city scfrank lampard
(Copyright ©2018 ESPN Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.)