Pirlo jets off for New York ahead of MLS debut

New York City fans are set to welcome Andrea Pirlo on Thursday after the former Juventus midfielder departed Italy on Tuesday.

Andrea Pirlo has left for the United States ahead of his expected MLS debut with New York City on Sunday.

New York City tweeted photos of Pirlo checking in for his flight from Italy to the USA on Tuesday, and quoted the 36-year-old midfielder as saying: "See you soon", with the photo of him sitting in the plane.

Pirlo, who is understood to have signed a contract until the end of the 2016 MLS season, will join the likes of David Villa and Frank Lampard at New York City.

The former Juventus midfielder will hold his first news conference in sky blue on Thursday, while he is set to make his debut against another MLS expansion outfit Orlando City at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.

Pirlo - a World Cup winner with Italy - won Serie A six times in his career - including the past four straight titles with Juventus - plus the UEFA Champions League twice with Milan.