Pirlo open to NY stay

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The 36-year-old made the move to America at the end of last season after a successful four-year stint with Italian champions Juventus, and made 13 appearances for NYCFC as they finished a disappointing ninth out of ten teams in the Eastern Conference last year.

Yet with his current deal expiring in December this year, the Italy international says he would definitely entertain the idea of staying on in the Big Apple, preferring the lifestyle in America to that back home.

"I don't rule out the idea of staying here," Pirlo told the New York Times magazine. "That could be something interesting.

"I always wanted to come here to play, but I never thought it would be so soon."

"Just being able to go out to dinner at the trendiest restaurants — in Italy, I can't do that," Pirlo added. "There were times we were kept in our dressing room until late at night because it wasn't safe to go home. Our bus would get attacked, the tires slit."

New York City get their 2016 MLS campaign underway this weekend with a fixture against Chicago Fire, who finished seven points behind them in last place in 2015.

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