Despite doling out reams of cash to players like David Villa and Frank Lampard, MLS debutantes NYCFC hadn’t yet snared that big-name, face-of-the-franchise type player you knew they wanted. Until today, that is, when they consummated a months-long flirtation by making Andrea Pirlo the highest-paid player in the league.

According to ESPN FC, it took $8 million per year to convince the Italian to abandon the picturesque wineries, the world renowned cuisine, and the team that actually matters in favor of suiting up for Manchester City’s Financial Fair Play work-around. Various reports put Villa’s and Lampard’s salary at right around $6 million, which puts all three right amongst the top handful of salaries in MLS. Each player individually earns more than the entire roster of the majority of teams in the league.

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Though NYCFC are currently outside the playoff places, we’re sure Pirlo believes he can follow up the Serie A and Coppa Italia double he just won with Juventus with the hallowed Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup. With any luck, next season he could find himself enjoying another deep (CONCACAF) Champions League run.

And though Villa’s in his first season in New York while Lamps and Pirlo have yet to feature, time is already running out for the Big Three. At 33 years old, Villa is the relative pup compared to old dogs like Pirlo (36) and Lampard (37). We’re sure the trio will give fans at Yankee Stadium something to hoot and holler about for years to come.

[ESPN FC]

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