Tuesday April 17 2012
Del Piero daunted by Juve departure

Alessandro Del Piero has reflected on the ‘most difficult’ season of his career and admits that leaving Juventus this summer is a daunting prospect.

The Bianconeri’s record appearance holder and all-time top goalscorer, who has won 15 major honours with the Turin outfit since joining the club in 1993, is set to depart this summer when his contract comes to an end.

The 37-year-old forward, who has previously hinted that he intends to play on until he is 40, has admitted this week that he had hoped to be staying with the Old Lady to the end of his playing career.

“It was what I had dreamed,” he said in an interview with the Italian edition of Vanity Fair magazine, which is set to be published tomorrow.

“These 20 years have been full of emotions, with some extraordinary moments and others hard - I have felt the thrill of writing almost all the Bianconeri’s records. But now things have changed.

“[This season] has been the most difficult of my life, because I was faced with a reality that I had never known - that of someone who plays little or not at all.

“Nobody thinks they deserve exclusion, and although I have always thought that if another is playing ahead of you then they deserve it, it does not mean giving up fighting for that place.”

The captain was asked of his reaction to Andrea Agnelli’s announcement at a club shareholders meeting in October that this would be the No 10’s last term with the club.

“It surprised me. But a captain should never forget his duties and what he represents. Juventus has taken the utmost to try to win the League and Coppa Italia.

“We do not need controversy, which, moreover, has never been a part of my career.

“From June 30 I will be without a contract. I cannot imagine my future, it is a huge change and it scares me a little, because it will be like leaving home again.

“But I live life as I did when I was a kid, like a video game - there will be another level to overcome.”