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Mattocks clash with Pirlo increases calls for legendary player's retirement
Jamaica international Darren Mattocks played a crucial role in a 1-0 win for Portland Timbers over New York FC in Saturday’s round of Major League Soccer (MLS) games but in the same breadth also increased calls for Italian legend Andre Pirlo to retire from the sport.
Pirlo once the standard of central midfield play across the globe, has had a difficult run of late, with some beginning to question the value of the 38-year-old in the team’s starting line-up. Saturday’s encounter with the Jamaican forward would have done little to change that.
Pirlo was bustled off the ball after being caught dawdling in possession just outside the 18-yard area by the menacing front man.
While the midfielder complained, Mattocks darted to goal and put in a perfect cross for Diego Valeri, who stroked the ball past the hosts’ goalkeeper Sean Johnson for the game’s only goal. New York City coach Patrick Viera was in no mood to criticise the former Italian legend following the loss, however, insisting it could have happened to anyone.
“I think it happened that we lost the ball. It just so happened that this time it was Andrea," Vieira was quoted as saying by Goal.com.
"A lot of players have lost the ball in a really difficult area, but it happened that we conceded the goal. That’s part of the game. You make a mistake and you get punished right away.''
The internet was, however, far less forgiving.
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