Wednesday September 5 2012
Del Piero: Why I chose Sydney…

Alessandro Del Piero insists that he chose to join Sydney because it was the perfect destination to continue his playing career.

The 37-year-old has agreed to join the Australian outfit and held a Press conference this afternoon to explain why he is heading Down Under.

“It’s a special day for me, different,” he opened. “I’m happy to announce that, for the next two years, I’ll be Australian.

“I’ve signed with Sydney to face a splendid and amazing adventure. There couldn’t have been a better destination for me and this journey.”

Del Piero was available for transfer as a free agent after Juventus opted against offering him a new contract in June.

“I thank all of the sides with which I have spoken to, all of the market operators,” continued the 2006 World Cup winner.

“I didn’t expect this experience, but I have to admit that I didn’t expect all of the clubs who contacted me to do so either.

“I don’t think it would be proper to name them, but that is a reference to Italian clubs. I’d like to thank them and the other clubs around the world – we touched all continents.

“I didn’t want to play for another Italian team not because I saw them as an enemy, but because I thought that was the right thing to do.

“It was nice though that a lot of clubs, including some unthinkable ones, thought about me. Liverpool? They made an offer, but I needed something different.”

The choice of his new outfit is something of a shock, but the former Padova youngster is convinced that it’s the right move for him.

“There are a lot of sensations inside me, but all point to me wanting to start this adventure. The Sydney project has everything – I wanted something new.

“Sydney is the perfect city for me. I’ve been told a lot about the Australian championship, but it will be great to discover things.

“The project will include a tight collaboration between myself, the club and all of the Australian game. With everyone wanting to make a contribution, anything can happen. We have a lot of ideas.”

Del Piero was also adamant that he’s not decided to take his family to the other side of the world for a long holiday – he’s still as hungry as ever for honours.

“I’m going to Australia to win and score goals – and hopefully to help evolve the game there.

“I hope to play in full stadiums so that the Australian public, where there are a lot of Italians, can enjoy the game and see its level rise in the country.

“My adventure starts today and it is giving me strong emotions. For someone like me, who rarely switched clubs, it is an important change.

“It’s a long way away in terms if kilometres, but close to my philosophy and plans.

“I’ve been told that the aim is to win and the competitive aspect is important because I still feel 100 per cent as a player.”

Del Piero had wanted to end his career with his beloved Old Lady, but he’s still backing the club that made him famous.

“I’ll leave a team where I have been for 19 years, but I’ll continue to support Juventus for a thousand and more reasons,” he added.

“My affection for Juventus doesn’t end today, as it didn’t when I understood that I would no longer be playing for them because I gave everything and more for the club.

“My last season was one of the most complicated, but I was a protagonist and a winner – as I was for many years in black and white.”

The No 10 shirt became Alex’s second skin in Turin, but that jersey has not been assigned to anyone else for the 2012-3 campaign.

“I don’t know if it was the players or the club who decided to not select it.”

The season in Australia begins in a month and he’s adamant that he’s in good enough shape to make an instant impact.

“I’ll be ready, also because my personal trainer will come with me. I’ve been working hard over the summer.”

When asked whether Del Piero could be what Pele was to the New York Cosmos, he said: “I’m old, but not that old.

“There are similarities, but they are different eras. America today? I was close, but, in the end, Sydney was the right choice.”

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