Alessandro Del Piero admits he thought his Juventus career would have ended differently, while he’s revealed why he turned down the chance to join Liverpool.
The 37-year-old concluded his 19-year love affair with the Old Lady in the summer after they opted against offering him a new contract.
“I didn’t think that my career at Juve would finish that way,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday.
“I would have never of thought it a year and a half ago. But then things change. I am left with the satisfaction that I gave everything I had to Juventus.”
The No 10 had always insisted that he would have wanted to end his playing days in black and white, but there were already signs of tension when he renewed his deal for one more year in 2011.
Back then, Del PIero took the decision to broadcast a video message where he underlined his desire to stay in Turin.
“I would certainly do it again,” he stated. “There were a lot of rumours about my contract, I just wanted to make it clear that money was not an issue. I just wanted to remain at Juventus.”
Asked by the Gazzetta whether he was surprised, disappointed or indifferent to the silence of Juventus President Andrea Agnelli, he responded: “Indifferent.”
“Would you have invited Del Piero to the first game of this season? Yes, I would,” continued the World Cup winner.
Del Piero, however, was given a stunning goodbye at the Juventus Stadium on the last day of the 2011-12 campaign.
“The fans surpassed themselves that afternoon,” he added. “Even my new teammates have spoken to me about that day as they saw it on TV. Buffon told me that he envied me for that. I knew I was loved, but not like that…
“I sat on the bench after being substituted and the fans dragged me back on to the pitch. I did two laps of the pitch, they threw hundreds of scarves at me.
“Every now and again I stopped to take in the moment. I saw people cry. It was extraordinary because it was so spontaneous.”
Del Piero eventually took the decision to continue his career in Australia with Sydney, a move which some have questioned.
“People can say what they want, but I’m not worried about that,” he added. “I had ample possibilities open to me.
“America, Brazil, Thailand, Qatar, Spain, England, China, Japan. But I wasn’t after the best financial offer. And I’d already won everything as a player. I didn’t need to play in the Champions League again.”
He also explained why he rejected a late offer from Premiership giants Liverpool.
“The negotiations with Sydney were at an advanced stage and then I thought about what had happened at Heysel.
“Juventus and Liverpool have been able to reconstruct their relationship, but for many people that tragedy is an indelible memory.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!