PHOTO: New York City Fans Outraged by Andrea Pirlo's Lack of Effort During MLS Game
Andrea Pirlo is a player beloved by many, and rightfully treated as a great of the modern game. Recently, however, he's been catching the eye for all the wrong reasons.
Now, the technical wizard's style has never exactly been that much of a workhorse - he's played alongside Gennaro Gattuso and Arturo Vidal for long parts of his career so he largely hasn't had to - but things are starting to reach a low-point.
Now he's seeing out his career under Patrick Vieira in New York, and he's drawing the ire of the NYCFC fans for his perceived lack of effort on the pitch, particularly during a recent game against Toronto.
Pirlo's countryman Sebastian GIovinco was in fine form for the Canadian side during their victory, and scored two great goals. However, Pirlo's less-than-committed approach to defending against the 'Atomic Ant' directly led to both of his goals, and the ultimate loss.
The first goal came from a legitimate failure to close Giovinco down; as fantastic as Gio's left-footed finish was, a younger, more committed midfielder might well have been more persistent and attentive in closing down one of MLS' most dangerous players.
Naturally, Giovinco wasn't done there though, and followed up with a free kick that would've made Pirlo himself blush, to mark his 50th MLS goal too.
On closer inspection however, you see that Pirlo has once again made things very, very easy for his countryman, basically hiding behind his teammates in the NYC wall, and giving Giovinco a whole side of the goal to aim for.
It's not nice to see a great of the game come under scrutiny at such a late stage in his career, but this is hardly unwarranted, and NYCFC fans have voiced their opinions on the Italian on Twitter, with some even calling for the 38-year-old to retire ASAP.