Alessandro Del Piero has written an open letter to Juventus fans on the day his contract expired. “I am no longer a Juventus player, but I will always be one of you.”
The captain’s contract ends today and he is yet to choose his next destination, although he has confirmed he will continue his playing career.
“It ends here, my contract with Juventus expires today,” wrote Del Piero in an open letter.
“It’s not news, but knowing it is ‘official’ still has an effect on me. It is not a sad moment for me, there are no regrets or nostalgia. Not anymore. That’s because I’ve had time to think back over everything that happened in my last Bianconeri season, going further back and reliving the greatest dream I could’ve dreamed.
“All the memories, the joys, the triumphs and – to be honest – a few recent moments of bitterness... Today all these images flash in front of my eyes and at a certain point blur into one marvellous embrace of my final game in Turin.
“That is the photograph that encapsulates everything, the instant I want to bring with me always, the one that since May 13 has been printed on my heart. It cannot be cancelled.
“A while ago, before going on vacation, I emptied out my locker at Vinovo and walking out of the training ground I stopped where for many months you waited for me hoping for a photo, an autograph or just a hello... under the snow, the ice, the rain, the burning sun. But this time I am the one saluting and thanking you, just as you did with me.
“The players pass by, but Juventus remains. My teammates remain, who I wish the best and will always cheer them on.
“Above all what remains is the fans, you who are Juventus. That jersey that I loved and will always love, that I desired and respected, without breaks or discounts. I am happy that others after me can wear the shirt and above all the ‘10’ that has always had my name on it since they started printing names on the Bianconeri jerseys.
“I am happy for whoever will wear it next year and happy that somewhere – in Italy and all over the world – someone is dreaming of wearing it.
“I would be proud of someone wanting to follow my path, just as I dreamed of doing so with other champions, other examples, other legends.
“From tomorrow I will no longer be a Juventus player, but I will always be one of you.
“Now a new adventure begins and I am as fired up as I was 19 summers ago.
“Arrivederci. Thanks for everything.