Wednesday February 16 2011
Del Piero thanks Ronaldo

Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero has thanked Ronaldo for being such a fantastic servant to the game.

Ronaldo formally announced his retirement from football earlier this week after a glittering career.

Writing on his official website, Del Piero expressed his profound respect for Ronaldo's achievements.

"I have always believed that the greatness of a player is also measured by the greatness of his opponents, of the great duels that even a team sport like football can produce.

"Ronaldo's years in Italy, his first spell at Inter, were characterised by our duels. Del Piero vs Ronaldo. Juve vs Inter.

"At the end of the game we always went looking for each other to swap shirts. Ronaldo was one of the players who I respected the most.

"His announcement struck me even if it didn't surprise me. Unfortunately it was the injuries that have tormented the final years of his career that made the decision for him.

"As with Marco Van Basten, injuries have impeded everyone who is fascinated by sport [me included] from seeing the products of these monsters on the pitch.

"But what Ronaldo did will forever remain in the history of football and in the eyes of the people who love this sport, independently of the colour of their shirt, of their support, of the flags.

"Players like Ronaldo belong to everybody. It was touching to hear Ronaldo say, amid the tears, in his goodbye press conference the phrase 'it's like I am dying' because the footballer Ronaldo won't be there anymore. But luckily for him a new life starts now.

"Thanks for what you did on the pitch and for being a great opponent, Fenomeno."

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