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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.

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Have your say...
wonderful article. lets not forget that Milan promised to re-introduce maldini's shirt in future only for one of his sons if they make it into AC milans first team squad. maybe a similar gesture for del pieros son?
on the 10th April, 2012 at 10:35pm
I am not a fan of retiring numbers, personally i think by showing respect to a legend we disrespect the future legends of this club. No one knows when the next ADP is going to show up at Juventus and to retire the number simply takes away the intrigue and immortality of the number it's self. Having said that, since it is obvious that Juve isn't going to offer our captain another contract i firmly agree with those who say that the stadium should be named after Alex.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 10:14pm
We should not retire the number 10 shirt - as much as I love ADP. As before ADP, there will be future champions who will work hard and tirelessly to be worthy to wear the no. 10 shirt of Juve. As a user mentioned below, Juve did it perfectly in honoring our greats with the stars. Retiring shirts is more appropriate for provincial sides who once in a blue moon get a champion; however, world class champions will forever grace Juve's shirts. Don't retire the shirt.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 10:11pm
I've grown up watching alex and surely no one has ever given more to the role of 10, captain and overall ambassador of Juventus. He has got to be the greatest ever player for the bianconeri. I think although this would be a fitting gesture, alex himself would not want or wish for this. He is a true champion, model professional and I'm sure he would love to one day see another number 10 achieve great things in HIS shirt. Total legend.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 8:58pm
If Del Piero is loved so much by Juventus they should retire the number 10 shirt in his honour. I think that they should, in my opinion I think that il pinturicchio is the best player in the history of la vecchia signora. Thanks Alex for a wonderful career for Juventus and Italy.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 8:42pm
Right - lets sort this once and for all!
Del Piero has been living off one/two games he played when we was 18. Since then he has done NOTHING. Maldini's shirt was retired (unless one of his son's pics it up) as he was a total legend as was Baresi. To retire ADP's shirt would be a shocking celebraion of mediocracy and would essentially be a metaphor for Juventus as a club. Small club, living in the past, no class. If you are going to retire his shirt why don't you retire Padavano's too! CPFC!
on the 10th April, 2012 at 8:41pm
I agree with exactly what Onofrio Sanfilippo has said. Del Piero is a legend and deserves more respect. Yes Inzaghi 9 is a slug!
on the 10th April, 2012 at 8:24pm
Absolutley Not! Del Piero is like a god to me, he's my second favourite player of all time but to think there would never be another 10 for Juve is just crazy! it is a symbolic badge given to the player on the team who brings fantasy to the team and is the focal point of attack. others must have the chance to wear it and be our new hero! what if we had retired it for one of our other famous 10's? Ale would never have had the chance to take on the mantle, it probably helped inspire his success.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 7:55pm
I genuinely think Amauri will have a bigger legacy at the club than Del Piero could ever dream of. He will be forgotten in 5 years. Forza Inzaghi.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 7:37pm
Hello
I'm living in Iran
Juventus are popular in my country and all their worship of their Captain.
We hope not to leave Juventus and FC Alex to give him any time he likes to play.
The day Alex was retired, the most beautiful work is that the number ten shirt at least a year archive.
Or more even.
But if a player as his heir came, the ten numbers can be used
Alex on Juventus to honor his shirt and the first number retired.
Captain does not be repeated and should be treated with utmost respect.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 7:29pm
I agree that ADP has given so much to Juventus, Skill and humility- such a perfect combination! Giovinco should not be given the shirt without first proving that he has these qualities. They should do something to honour such a great player who has always been a terrific professional, I agree with Rinaldo, maybe they should name the new stadium after him? They should do something considering how they announced his retirement!
on the 10th April, 2012 at 7:11pm
"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."

What a tragedy! But wasn't Pinturicchio playing recently? I don't know how Juventus managed this. I mean I know they signed Luca Toni recently but exhuming players for the first team is surely a step too far :)
on the 10th April, 2012 at 7:11pm
I don't think so, because there will be out of number when the number given retired. Better extends ADP contracts. For giovinco, he is not a leader and always support himself to prove juve is wrong. so that's it's not A legend for juve which suitable to wear no.10 .he is a level 1 player but a worldclass player
on the 10th April, 2012 at 6:57pm
Also, as much as I admire ADP and am thankful for what he has done in La Maglia Bianconero, he was no Platini, who I think deserves the accolade more so in my opinion... The greatest Juve player ever... Even though he's a bit of a Slug (Like Inzaghi 9)
on the 10th April, 2012 at 6:55pm
Del Piero is a absolute legend and has, in my own life, always been significant even today. It is hard to find players that would drop down to the second tier and stay with that club. Del Piero displayed is loyalty to the club and Juve should do the same. Don't retire it forever, but just until somebody deserves it. Not giovinco, not yet, not until he becomes a talisman.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 6:46pm
That would be a shallow gesture! They should show him the same respect that they have shown Nedved, if not more, end of story.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 6:46pm
Whilst ADP is a legend and should be revered and remembered, I think retiring a jersey suggests Juventus were a one-man team in his time, and that is not the case (unlike the Napoli 10). To retire ADPs 10, it would imply that Trezeguet, Buffon, Nedved, Thuram, Zidane, and a dozen others are not worth mentioning. There should always be a Juve 10 to aspire to.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 6:38pm
.....True say totally agree the 'atomic ant' is a atomic disaster to be quite frank. He rarely never lived up yo his hype. He should find his own digits and take precedence of them!!!! long live the punturichio!
on the 10th April, 2012 at 6:23pm
I wonder if that "Inzaghi 9" character has ever watched a football match in his life. I'm not a fan of retired numbers, I prefer hanging the famed jerseys in the stadium to honor past greats. This way Platini and Del Piero could both be honored and another player given the chance to wear the famed number 10. Had DP not blown out his knee in '98, he would have been the greatest ever.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 6:10pm
Absolutely not, do not retire the shirt. Del Piero is a legend but Juventus is a legendary club. Many great players have worn the no. 10 shirt. When Baggio was sold to Milan many thought that Del Piero would not fill the void. However Del Piero took on responisbilty of the no. 10 shirt and has never let Juventus down. In the future I want a player for Juventus to know how important the no. 10 shirt is to the club and to step up to the responsibilty like ADP has done.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 5:58pm
Inzarghi 9. U r either a wind up or mentally ill. Pippo is the best player ever "that cannot actually play football" And he celebrates every tap in as if he had scored in a CL final. Oh yeh now i get why u r called Inzarghi 9! Del Piero pure legend.... Giovinco not worthy. Retire the shirt..who has most apps / goals for Juve..No brainer!
Good article Dave.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 5:58pm
Although Alex is the greatest football player in history so far, I don't think his number should be retired. I know it would be silly to see some kid with number 10 next year. But just imagine what disrespect that would be to players like Scirea, Platini, Boniperti etc. If Juve start retiring numbers I guess they shall start printing three digit jerseys! Juve, probably found the best solution to thank all of these stars by creating their hall of fame with those 50 stars.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 5:27pm
1st of all, ADP should not retire. He still got another 2 or 3 seasons left in him or should be used like Pipo Inzaghi, play until his heart is content.

However should the day come when he does hang up his boots, retire his number for 1 season only. We want to see another spectacular number 10 in Juve colours.

Imagine if all the common numbers were to be retired, we would see players running around in numbers like 45, 73 and 91 LoL...
on the 10th April, 2012 at 5:24pm
I disagree. As big a fan I am of Del Piero, I dislike the idea of retiring shirts, especially in football. Every team should have a number 10, a player who provides the creativity and goals upfront. It is a symbolic number, and while Del Piero IS Mr. Juventus, it would be quite ridiculous for Juventus to not have a number 10.

I'd rather name the stadium "Stadio Del Piero".
on the 10th April, 2012 at 5:16pm
I respect the legends of clubs mentioned but imo you do not compare them to ADP. He has won everything but the Euro cup.Everything.What he does on the pitch equals it off it. He is the last of an era, the greats, the gracious, an immortal legend. The man plays football because he loves it not because its a job! I dont think Juve will retire it, they show him disrespect in not renewing the contract so I dont expect them to honour him this way. They will simply give him a good testimonial
on the 10th April, 2012 at 5:11pm
There should not even be a debate, Juve must retire ADP's shirt. He is not just another 'great' he is a Juve legend, an icon, embodying the spirit of the club. Not has he effectively been a one man club who, when offered the chance to move after demotion to Serie B remained loyal to the club, he also holds the records for all time appearances in all competitions and goals records, he is not another Platini or Baggio! Agnelli owes ADP at least that! p.s Inzaghi9 you are deluded! Forza Ale!
on the 10th April, 2012 at 4:52pm
Its a good point.
A player needs to earn the right to wear a shirt.
But I dont think retiring a shirt forever should happen. The 10 should be left vacant for a season or two until a new star arrives and proves themselve for it.
Look at United - the famous 7. Worn by many greats - most recently Beckham and Ronaldo. Modern Footballing Legends. Currently worn by Owen. Who has yet to kick a ball this season. Which is a joke.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 4:51pm
If Juve win the Scudetto this year, this argument will reach climax. The team captain who stuck with Juve into Serie B, and back to the summit? Too poetic to not retire it. Platinu, Baggio, et al played for other teams prior and after. ADp is like Totti, and #10 should be retired when they're done.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 4:48pm
To begin with, Del Piero should be allowed to stay at the club until he decides to retire. I hope to God he is still with us next year. But I am not in favour of retiring shirt numbers. Some clubs have a tradition of having wonderful number 10s, Juve being one of those teams. I am in favour of the number 10 shirt being earned though, something that young players strive to achieve, young players who model themselves on Del Piero, see what he does and how he carries himself on and off the field.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 4:29pm
@ Inzaghi 9 - Are you for real?? Get a grip on reality and assess what you have just allowed those grimy paws to type. Inzaghi is a great player (when he's not offside) but if you put his records next to Del Piero's they pale into insignificance!

Del Piero is by far and away the more iconic and complete player.
on the 10th April, 2012 at 4:29pm

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