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Tuesday April 10 2012
Retire Del Piero’s No 10

Juventus may not be prepared to offer Alex Del Piero a new contract, but, as Dave Taylor argues, they should at least retire his shirt.

“Next season the No 10 shirt at Juventus will likely be free and it is a number that I like,” claimed Parma forward Sebastian Giovinco recently. The starlet, currently co-owned with the Old Lady, further admitted he enjoys the idea of replacing Alessandro Del Piero in Turin. That may be a dream for him, but it should be a nightmare for the rest of us.

The Juventus No 10 is not just a shirt. After personally watching the great and the good of Liam Brady, Michel Platini, Roberto Baggio and, arguably the most celebrated of them all, Pinturicchio himself in that skin, the jersey should be retired when he leaves this summer.

Taking a shirt out of circulation as a dedication to a club legend is nothing new in Italy. Napoli retired Diego Maradona’s magic 10 as did Milan with Paolo Maldini's No 3 and Franco Baresi's No 6, while Inter withdrew Giacinto Facchetti's famous No 3. 

Yet it is not a Juve tradition. In 2005 there were strenuous calls for Gaetano Scirea’s No 6 jersey to be retired, but despite the demand being backed by former Azzurri Coach Enzo Bearzot, who not only wanted his domestic shirt retired but his international version as well, they were ignored. The 1982 World Cup winning boss rightly felt that the retiring of glorious shirt numbers should be a ritual so they have the right not to be worn by others.

Like Del Piero, Scirea was an unrivalled champion both on and off the field who sadly died while working for Juve as a scout in 1989. In recent history his shirt has been worn by players like Dimas Teixeira, Sunday Oliseh, Thierry Henry, Fabian O’Neill, Robert Kovac, Salvatore Fresi and the calamitous Fabio Grosso, who were, putting it bluntly, not fit to lace his boots.

If the above are not perfect examples of players unable to live up to a previous owner's shirt number, I don't know what is. It was too big a weight on their puny shoulders and it would surely have been better to keep the jersey locked away to protect the phenomenal institution that is Il Capitano’s legacy.

Many modern day fans feel the same way about Del Piero. Like Scirea his boots will undoubtedly be extremely difficult to fill, even impossible, and consequently if not retired there will be some who will sully the memory of this fabulous shirt and what Alex has achieved in it.

If they can't retire it, then at the very least they should take it out of circulation for a few years until there is somebody who could do the shirt the same justice as previous owners. And despite Giovinco's progress this season, he is hardly the chimerical visionary that Del Piero was at his age.

Of course some could feel that it is only a shirt and no-one is bigger than the club. They may also suggest that if a player dreams about becoming the new Del Piero, let him and give him a chance of actually realising it.

The problem, however, are that the skills, elegance, leadership and dedication that Del Piero brought to the shirt are not so easily repeated and any future owner needs to earn the right and not just be given it.

Alessandro set a massively high standard for that shirt. It is not any old number, it is a number worn by real legends, historical great players who made the difference. The only player who deserves it more than Alessandro is Del Piero himself – in eternity.

Have your say...
Delpiero 10 shirt should be retired..... Why not??? He devoted his life for the Juventus black abd white shirt being there for 19 years through and through. He wasn't a glory or money chaser like ibrahimovic and many others. He was not only a goal scorer but a scorer of great goals!!!! Seen him demolish many teams including real Madrid! He is a true legend and he deserved more from the juventus owners!
on the 3rd September, 2012 at 7:57pm
The article is quit interesting. ADP is a true legend and juventus lover as well, I don't Agnelli himself loves the club as much as ADP does. In my opinion, ADP deserve a life time contract with juventus.m that is, he should play as long as he want, when he said I'm now tired of playing, then, he should take his seat in the director's bord! For the jersey, if u go now, it should be given to Giovinco on a condition. I.e, if he fail to prove that he deserve the #10 jersey, it can be taken away from him and wait for new ADP. Forza ADP! Forza juve!! Forza Italia!!!
on the 15th May, 2012 at 6:35pm
I don't care about retiring no 10,ADP should get more than that. Agneli should give ADP a new contract and let the legend stay and play as long as the legend can. And the idea from giovinco???come on i think he's joking maybe juve should wait to give number 10 to the perfect player like ADP
on the 15th May, 2012 at 3:17pm
It must be a little embarrassing to have such a legend treated in such a way. Regardless of retiring the shirt or not he deserves more respect from Juve. And he's handled his situation with such class. With all of the sacrifices he's made, mentioned in previous comments, he certainly deserves something more than he is getting.
on the 15th May, 2012 at 2:36pm
Am a Milanista but am saying this without any doubt that Alexander Del Piero has justify the reason to wear that jersey after several years. That jersey needs to be retired!

Del Piero is a loyal Juventus player for several years, he's stood by them Before/During/After the Calciopoli. What else does Juventus wants?
on the 15th May, 2012 at 2:28pm
I absolutely disagree with the writer. If we started retiring jerseys then there will be none to wear for future players. I doubt any Football Association would allow clubs to go over 99. Had Juventus considered retiring jerseys then Del Piero today would not be wearing the no.10. It would have been shelved after players like Boniperti and Platini retired or moved on. Similarly Buffon would not be wearing no.1 as it would have been retired for Zoff. I think this is a stupid ritual.
on the 13th April, 2012 at 10:48am
Hello, my name is Andrea Agnelli and Alex del Piero will replace me as Juventus Director. He also can play and stay at Juventus as long as he wants. I talked to John and Lapo Elkan, and we think Alex should be the owner too.
on the 13th April, 2012 at 6:47am
all I want to say is that Del Piero will be in my hart as a Juve fan 4life,no matter do they retire the No 10 or not.What he represent for us is in our hart,and i am sure he knows that and he dont needs anything to prove he is a Legend, he is the King.and i dont expect anything from this juve directors,cuz they make me vomit with disrespect for ADP this year
on the 12th April, 2012 at 8:45pm
ADP already dedicated/wasted about half a decade to juve without champions league football... no other player would have done that. In his final prime years from age 30 he could have added possibly another european trophy or 2 with another club, and perhaps could have broken rauls goalscoring record.. but he chose to stay loyal and sacrificed trophies and records. He wont get regular playing time if he stays,so juve shudnt offer him another year AND they shud show gratitude by retiring his shirt
on the 12th April, 2012 at 11:47am
Renew this magicians contract NOW! A true master, leader, a legend. Juventini will always follow you il capitano Del Piero FORZA JUVE! !
on the 12th April, 2012 at 9:18am
don't retire #10, give MARCHISIO the number #10 because at the moment he's the true heir of #10 legacy, FORZA JUVE!!!
on the 12th April, 2012 at 5:26am
Del piero is one of the greats. No need to retire the # looks bad against past greats. Although del piero should have been treated with more respect from Juventus. Deserves a lot more. ADP should sign with the "Biancoceleste"
on the 11th April, 2012 at 11:10pm
I think the shirt should not be retired, Alex is a legend at the club and always will be, he will never be forgotten, we dont have to follow Milan, Inter and Napoli. This club has had so many great number 10's and should be allowed to continue. 
on the 11th April, 2012 at 7:12pm
So retire # 6 fo Scirea
#10 for Alex Del Piero
In the next couple year #1 for Buffon
in the few years to come 6-8 years maybe #8 for marchisio and # 3 for chiellini
Oh yeah Bonnucci is improving why not retire his shirt. What a silly way of Honoring Del Piero. I think Alex should play for Juve until he hangs his boots in a big retirement game.
on the 11th April, 2012 at 7:12pm
since agnelli junior has taken over, he's treated the fans and The Legend (ADP) with such disrespect its unreal! he's the one that needs to prematurely retire from juventus and NOT Del piero! lol. However ADP will play for another 3-4 yrs before returning to Juve as a director. He'll go to china next for a season, then japan for one year, then a penultimate season in USA before playing out the final year for obscene money in Dubai. Maybe maradona will still be there?!
on the 11th April, 2012 at 2:31pm
When Giovinco made that statement - it made me cringe with disgust and disbelief. First of all, as Dave Taylor pointed out in his article - Giovinco does not deserve this shirt and no one else does. Secondly, it is fairly rude to make such statement when the LEGEND is still playing for his club. Thirdly, it is Juventus that decides who gets which numbers - not the other way round. Lastly, I do hope that Alex would stay for another year...Agnelli must revoke his stupid and illogical decision.
on the 11th April, 2012 at 2:11pm
He equals any legend of Juve and in my own humble opinion exceeds them. Buffon/Nedved have minus 8 years on ADPs commitment, I dont compare them. And in this day and age of football is on another level than 30 years ago, so much pressure to perform, the media exposure etc, ADP rises above it all. They shouldnt retire the shirt however, keep it until a worthy player steps up. The Stadium name will go to the highest bidder unfortunately....oh and dont feed the trolls guys (Giuseppe V/Inzaghi)
on the 11th April, 2012 at 11:07am
on a more relevant note... retiring ADP's shirt is an immense honor to the legend and one he undoubtedly would deserve, but then like someone said a couple posts back - where do we draw the line?Juve is a big club that has will always have players that will play for the shirt, not the money, so in the future we will have someone who may not be to ADPs standards but will wear that no.10 with the respect it deserves, though yes, it should be removed from circulation until that someone comes along
on the 11th April, 2012 at 10:20am
@ Giussepe V: damn I'm loving the hate! what more do we need to confirm we are back where we belong - at the top of Serie A - than the irate ranting of a Milan fan who until last season would've been happy to give us the 'we are sorry for you guys' treatment, and to top it all off you made this rant on an article that was written in respect to the legend that is Del Piero and you go on to label him mediocre! please dude, continue, I was tired of the 'poor juve' treatment, we love to be hated! :D
on the 11th April, 2012 at 10:13am
I agree with retiring the shirt. If the other teams can do it, why can't Juve? He has set that standard which is unlikely to be matched soon. If there is any truth in the possibility of naming the new stadium after Del Piero, they should do that too.
on the 11th April, 2012 at 10:06am
it will be nice as a mark of respect to the greatest bianconeri player but as the writer said Juve don't beleive in that tradition so it won't happen. other than that while giovinco is good but he is not at par with ADP so giving him that great responsibilty is wrong. I don't understand what is wrong with Juve management and why they are showing the door to ADP. Del Piero 10 years ago was better than all the current strikers combined and even now during his 15 min cameos he light up the play.
on the 11th April, 2012 at 9:30am
I think Giuseppe V & Inzaghi 9 should put their Mercury and Jupiter boots and try to learn the game of football.
on the 11th April, 2012 at 6:25am
Del Piero is on another level, not 'just another legend' his record speaks for itself. Furthermore his devotion and extreem loyalty to the club deserve to be rewarded, most apps, goals, helping bring the club back from Serie B when most others jumped at the chance to still play top flight football, e.g. Ibrahimovic and Cannavaro. One man club legends like this are on their own level. I agree ADP and Totti's number 10 should be retired. I wana see someone in future actually match ADP's career..
on the 11th April, 2012 at 6:08am
Yes DO NOT RETIRE The number 10 jersey, and give em to player like BORRIELO, AMAURI or some flop players that they might be bought someday...
That would be great don;t u think ?
on the 11th April, 2012 at 2:57am
LOL. Juve is not Napoli, and Del Piero is not Maradona.

There are many more future greats who will deserve to wear the #10 jersey after Del Piero.
on the 11th April, 2012 at 2:54am
Every team needs their #10 and Juve is no exception. Ale knows this and he cares about Juve so I don't think he would object to passing his jersey on. It could be given to a young player with potential or it could be given to a proven talent like Giovinco who has always dreamed of an opportunity like this and is just waiting explode into the player that everyone predicted he would be. He's a transfer target for Barca now - he has undoubted class, and nothing would be a show of faith like the #10
on the 11th April, 2012 at 2:31am
For me, retiring a shirt number is a bit on the schmaltzy side. Great players will be remembered no matter if their shirt has been retired or not. In many ways keeping the number available acts as a great aid in maintaining a club's past and present with discussions of who was the best number 10 or number 9. I've enjoyed following Del Piero's career, and I get the feeling that he would feel uncomfortable at the thought of having a number retired on his account.
on the 11th April, 2012 at 1:53am
I fell in love with Baggio's Juve and grew up on Del Piero's, in Italy number 10 is the ultimate the player most kids want to be like. Do retire this number in my opinion would be a huge mistake, however, like many i feel that there is no one currently who deserves to wear that iconic number at present. As far as Giovinco goes he is too small to wear that shirt,improving,but come on a good season at Parma don’t not make you Champs material - The King is dead,long live the King Forza Ale!!!
on the 11th April, 2012 at 1:14am
Del Piero should be allowed to stay with Juve for as long as he likes. In all my years as a Juventus fan seeing the way ADP has been treated this season is the first time I have been disappointed in the club. The shirt should not be retired in perpetuity but should be archived until the point a real heir is found, seeing an average, undeserving player wear the ADPs shirt next season would be the biggest insult of all.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 11:30pm
It could be great... really great. And also he should play for another year and score a couple more in the CL, his home turf.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 10:53pm

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