Alessandro Del Piero might be one of the biggest players which appeared in World football. A pure blood attacker, the Italian reached 38 years but continues playing and scoring. It’s true, in the Australian top flight, at FC Sydney, but this remains only his will to travel which he carries since childhood. After 19 seasons of historical performances at Juventus Turin, he was released last summer and decided to try an experience very far from Europe. Born on 9th of November 1974, ‘Pinturicchio’ was born in a quite poor family, but never gave up his dream of becoming a footballer, even though his brothers, who had the same expectations couldn’t bring them to a happy end. He started as a goalkeeper, position which his mother agreed most, because there he wouldn’t be exposed to swear or to be injured. Still, one of his brothers suggested that as a forward he’ll give his best and so it was.
In 1993, at 18 years he arrived at Juventus and never left the club until 2012, even though the squad from Turin also played once in the second division, in the 2006-2007, due to a decision after a corruption scandal which also meant losing two league championships won by the ‘bianco-nero’ in 2004-2005 and 2005-2006. With those, Del Piero had have eight such achievements, but considering this measures he only kept six of those (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2012). In fact, Alessandro won almost everything he could with the squad: Italian Cup in 1995, Italian Super Cup in 1995, 1997, 2002, 2003, UEFA Champions League in 1996. In the same year, Juventus also added a UEFA Super Cup and an Intercontinental Cup in its trophy room. He won also an Intertoto Cup in 1999 and played another four European Cups’ finals which, unfortunately, were lost. The UEFA Cup last act in 1995 and also three Champions’ League finals: 1997, 1998 and 2003.
A career full of trophies but also of great achievements for an attacker: he scored his first goal in Serie A against Reggiana, in his second match he netted a hat-trick in his first game as a starter, against Parma. This is only the beginning, because of the end of the period spent by him in Italy he also became:
– Juventus leading scorer: all competitions (290), in Serie A (188), in Serie B (20), in Champions’ League (44), in official international matches (54), in Italian Super Cup (3);
– Juventus appearance leader: all competitions (705), in Serie A (478), in international competitions (130).
His 19 years spell at Juventus, from which 11 as a team captain also brought him two records as the only man from the history of the club to do so. But Alessandro didn’t taste from the glass of success only at club level. He also spent great years at the national team which he quit in 2008, after 91 matches, 27 goals, a World Cup won in 2006 and a European Cup final in 2000. In fact, from EURO 1996 and until the final tournament from 2008, he missed only one major competition: EURO 2004. So, six important tournaments at which he participated remain in the history next to his very rich trophy and record room. How could Juventus let this guy leave, even though he was almost 38 years old? Very hard to answer, but remembering Raul or even Pirlo we can say that major mistakes can be made at every level in football. Including when inestimable values are the ‘victims’…