Alessandro Del Piero: The faithful soldier of Juventus

FLORENCE, ITALY - APRIL 9: Alessandro Del Piero of Juventus smiles during the Serie A match between Fiorentina and Juventus at Artemio Franchi on April 9, 2005 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Newpress/Getty Images)

Written by El-Khoury

The Italian Alexander the Great of European football, Alessandro Del Piero, was really a gifted soccer player, a formidable goal scorer and has been the Old Lady’s personal offensive machine for over a decade, scoring 208 goals in 513 Serie A games.

Del Piero will forever remain in football history as the all-time top scorer for Juventus with 290 goals and the first player to play so many games for Juve in team history with a total of 705 goals. Together with Roberto Baggio he is in the top 4 in the list of the top scorers of the Italian national team, scoring 27 goals, whilst also having worn the Italian jersey 91 times. And of course, his mighty participation along with the rest of the national team were crowned world champion in 2006.

He has won twice the top footballer of the year award in Italy (1998, 2008), twice the title of the top scorer in the Champions League (6 goals in 1995-1996 and 10 goals in 1997-1998). He has won eight Italian Championships (1994–1995, 1996–1997, 1997–1998, 2001–2002, 2002–2003, 2004–2005, 2005–2006, 2011–2012) with the 2005 and 2006 championships eliminated , due to Juve’s involvement in the “Calciopoli” scandal. Additionally, he won one Italian Cup (1994-1995), four Italian Super Cups (1995, 1997, 2002, 2003), one Champions League (1995-1996), one European Super Cup (1996), one Intercontinental Cup (1996) and one championship title in Serie B (2006-2007, the year they were eliminated).

The goalkeeper of… his mom

Many young children dream of becoming football players. Some manage to make their dream reality, however just a few become legends. So, like every little kid, Del Piero had the dream of becoming a footballer! Del Piero was born on November 9, 1974 in Conegliano and started playing for AC San Vendemiano’s youth team from the position of… a goalkeeper until the age of 7. The reason; Mamma mia, who told him that in that position he would not sweat enough, and the risk of injury would be minimal.

Years passed and young Del Piero was sure that his future was in football. From a young age, He decided that he would become a professional footballer and even a European Champion with Juventus, following the tragedy of Hazel in 1985. He was only 10 years old then, and as he had stated, his parents did not let him see anything on television when the massacre began. He understood everything and decided his fate.

The first step in Padua and Milan’s interest

So as we previously mentioned, Del Piero started playing under the Goalpost. Alessandro’s talent, however, could not be hidden. One of his brothers managed to convince their mother that he was incredible in the attacking position. In addition, in 1988, when Alessandro was 13, scouters of Padova saw his capabilities and immediately took hold of him and changed his pposition. Del Piero competed with Padova as a professional in 1991 and recorded four wins in the Italian second division. The following year he played in 10 matches and scored his first professional goal.

Del Piero may have been Juventus supporter from a kid, but the story is somewhat different. The first team to approach Padua, with the aim of grabbing him, was Milan. He delayed it as long as he could and eventually Jabiero Boniperti did what was needed and Del Piero, in 1993 found himself in the team of his heart.

Making “priests” to the “bianconeri”

Del Piero debuted in September 1993 against Foggia as a substitute. He scored his first goal in the following game, against Regianna again as a substitute, while in his first game he was in the starting 11 against Parma, scoring a hat-trick. That was also the beginning of a… empire of goals!

The 1997-1998 period was the best of his “Pindurccio” career, the way fans called him. The nickname was taken by former Juventus President Gianni Anneli. At one point, they were laughing to the joke with the comparison with Roberto Bacchio, who was compared with the “little Buddha” the painter Caravaccio, and Del Piero compared with his student, Pindurccio.

However it is, Del Piero has scored 21 times in Serie A and 10 times in the Champions League and has been a top scorer in both competitions. Europe was slowly learning his name from his fame in Juventus’ path to the final, and the goal using his back heel against Dortmund remains a classic highlight to this day.

A year of absence and a huge come back

On the evening of his 24th birthday, Alessandro Del Piero was seriously injured and lost the entire 1998-1999 season. But this never drove anyone to admire him less, neither in Juventus, nor in Italy. Alessandro didn’t let them down and made a super impressive come back. From the Euro 2000, it has been since he competed with one and only inspiring opponent: Francesco Totti of Roma.

Relegation? So, what!

Alessandro remained loyal to Juventus forever, and no matter how many offers he was made, he never accepted any of them, but provided plain rejections. Even when Juve was relegated from the “Calciopoli” scandal in 2006, Del Piero remained a loyal soldier there. The team returned to Serie A the following season and Alessandro was the hero of every Juventus fan. Marcelo Lippi once said of Alessandro Del Piero: “When you talk about Juventus, you talk specifically about Del Piero.”

When it was decided in 2012 that he would not continue his collaboration with Juventus, the number ’10’ jerseys were being given away, he went public and emphasised: ‘As I was dreaming of wearing No. 10 shirt in Juventus, everybody has the right to dream it.”

In 2012, Italian football’s “Great Alexander” went to try his luck in Australia, in Sydney FC and in 2014 he played exactly 10 matches in India with Delyne Dinamo. Somewhere there, came the end of the season and a wonderful career full of success for Del Piero who hung up his shoes with his head held high.

His own CD and taking part in a Rolling Stones concert!

And if you think Del Piero just loved football, you are making a big mistake. He also has great passion with music and dancing as well. Additionally, he had taken dance lessons with Angelo Di Livio while still listening to music for hours. In fact, Del Piero’s “CD” was released with his 18 own favorite tracks. From Robbie Williams and Anastasia to 50 Cent, Oasis and Coldplay were among his favorites. Also, noteworthy was his guest participation in the Oasis video clip “Lord, don’t slow me down” and on stage with … (not very good friend of Goleador) Marko Materazzi at the Rolling Stones concert.

When a young girl woke up from her coma

Another interesting short story about Juve’s hero was written in February 2012. That year, Cozensa society was overwhelmed by the drama of a family where their 12-year-old daughter had been diagnosed in a coma. But her young parents were shocked when they felt a miracle had happened, the moment superstar Del Piero recorded a message and their young daughter suddenly … woke up!

To conclude our story, we will mention the fact that that Maradona, who doesn’t often bring up or talk about other players, highlighted a very positive comment about Del Piero saying, “I’m sure he will never grow old.” That is the only sure thing.