Every day you have problems with your physical condition. At my age, that is enough. It's not as though you can go on until you're 50. "I'll do something else", he said.
The 2006 World Cup victor, 38, has spent the last three years with City but has featured in just 15 of the club's 32 games this season. "I'm not angry. Instead, I will give a hand to team-mates and to the coach", he said.
The 38-year-old has only made 15 MLS appearances this year, having struggled to regain full fitness following a knee injury.
Pirlo joined NYCFC as a Designated Player after his contract with Italian giants Juventus expired in summer 2015, when "Il Maestro" made a quick impact along with David Villa and Frank Lampard before he started to fade and look like dead weight years beyond his prime.
New York City still have two regular season games remaining, and could yet make the playoffs.
But Germany 2006 champion Pirlo, who on Sunday announced his impending retirement from a decorated 22-year playing career, is confident results will soon improve. "It wasn't just that I wanted to come back to Italy, but AC Milan is a legendary club and they had a great team". But, let the time will answer it, "added Pirlo".
"It's hard to build a new team, it takes time and faith and you know results won't arrive straight away". I repeat: for now, I don't have that intention. After 25 years of football, I'm going to stay at home with my family. "I'll play golf and tennis to keep fit".
The six-time Serie A and two-time Champions League winner's game, particular as he's got older, has always been to run the game from deep and let the ball do the work.