Who is Alessandro Del Piero?
Who is Alessandro Del Piero?
Alessandro Del Piero is an Italian Born footballer that made a name for himself as an attacking forward. Throughout a long career in Italian Football, Del Piero racked up an impressive number of goals. He played at Juventus for 19 years and helped his club form a winning tradition. Del Piero holds the record for the second highest Italian goal scorer of all time.
Alessandro Del Piero was born in Conegliano, Italy in the Fall of 1974. Del Piero comes from a working family, his father an electrician and his mother a housekeeper. The family lived in San Vendemiano and it was here that Del Piero’s love of football was born. From an early age, Del Piero would play football in the backyard with his friends and older brother. The group would dream of becoming famous footballers as they kicked the ball around. When he was old enough, Del Piero joined the San Vendemiano youth team. He started as the teams goalkeeper, but was soon moved to offense once his skill as a goal scorer was discovered. At the age of 13, De Piero was scouted by Podova and began playing for their youth team.
Del Piero would play on Padova’s youth squad for 3 years before making his first professional start in 1991 at the age of 16. He would come on frequently as a substitute that season. The following season Del Piero began to make a name for himself in the club and scored his first professional goal of many. After two seasons with the club, Del Piero was transferred to Juventus in 1993.
Del Piero and Juventus: A Legacy
In his first season with the club, Del Piero played primarily on Juventus’ youth squad. Del Piero was brought up as a substitute throughout the season. He played his first Serie A game that September and scored his first goal on Juve’s senior team the following match. In his first start later that season, Del Piero scored his first hat-trick. The following season Del Piero saw more opportunity to play. He scored eight goals and helped Juventus win their first Scudetto in almost a decade. Del Piero also contributed to his team winning the Coppa Italia.
The 1995-96 season saw continued success for Del Piero, he solidified his spot on the pitch scoring 6 goals in the striker position. Although Juventus placed second in Serie A, they would go on to win the Champions League where Del Piero was the second highest scorer in the tournament. Del Piero and Juventus had continued success the following season winning the UEFA Super Cup and the Intercontinental Cup. He also helped Juve win a second Serie A Scudetto that season.
The 1997-98 season proved to be Del Piero’s most productive. His 21 goals on the season helped Juventus win another Serie A title. Juve reached a third consecutive UEFA Champions League final thanks to Del Piero’s ten goals throughout the tournament but ended up losing to Real Madrid. In all competitions, Del Piero topped his career goals in a season record at 32. Thanks to his offensive contributions to his club, Del Piero was named the Serie A Italian Footballer of the Year.
The 1998-99 season was a rough one for Del Piero as he was out for the majority of the season with a knee injury. During his time off, Del Piero bulked up to prepare for his return the following season. The next season saw a slight shift in Del Piero’s play style. The striker traded his shots for assists and ended up leading the league in assists that season.
The turn of the century seemed to bring new success for Del Piero as he was named captain of his side in 2001. In his first season as captain, Del Piero led his team to another Serie A title. The striker logged his 100th career goal with the club that season. The following season saw another Serie A title for Del Piero and Juve alongside an underwhelming showing in the Champions League.
2004 began to see the slight decline of Del Piero’s minutes on the pitch. Even with limited appearances, Del Piero scored 14 goals and helped his team lift another Scudetto. The next season would bring the demotion of the club to Serie B due to a game-fixing scandal.
Despite the relegation, Del Piero stayed with the club and helped his side gain promotion, mostly coming in off the bench.
Over the next 5 years Del Piero would continue to contribute to Juve’s success scoring most of his goals from the bench. Del Piero would continue to score an impressive amount of goals despite his reduced minutes. His last season with the club came in 2011-2012, when his contract expired.
Del Piero set the record for most appearances for Juventus with 705. Throughout those 705 matches, Del Piero scored a record 290 goals, a record for the club. Del Piero is currently the 9th highest goal scorer in the history of Serie A. He is ranked 13th in all-time scorers in the Champions League. Classic Juventus Football Shirts from Del Piero’s two decades with the club are some of the most iconic kits in all of European football.
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A Club Down Under
After Leaving Juventus, Del Piero signed a two-year deal with Sydney FC in Australia. In his first season with the club, Del Piero broke the club scoring record with 14 goals in 24 appearances. His second season with the club brought Del Piero a captaincy and continued goal scoring success. In his final match in Australia, Del Piero played as the Captain of the Hyundai A-League All Stars against his former club Juventus. Del Piero was also added to the Sydney FC’s Team of the Decade.
A Year in Delhi
After leaving Sydney FC, Del Piero moved to India where he signed with the Delhi Dynamos. The Italian only made ten appearances throughout the season. He only scored a single goal. After a single season with Delhi, Del Piero announced his retirement in the fall of 2015.
The Italian National Football Team
Del Piero premiered on the Italian National Football Team for the first time during the 1996 Euro tournament. In the 1998 World Cup, Del Piero was played sporadically and had a minimal impact on the teams progress through the tournament. Del Piero would make a more solid and consistent appearance for the Italian National team in Euro 2000. Del Piero and his team reached the final before falling again to France. Del Piero would make some significant appearances for his side in the 2002 World Cup, but would end up losing to South Korea in the second round.
The 2006 World Cup was when Del Piero’s International luck turned around. He would contribute heavily to Italy’s successful progression through the tournament. In the final against France, the two teams tied to bring the game into a penalty shootout. Del Piero scored in the shootout and helped Italy lift the World Cup. Classic Italian football shirts from this game are an iconic souvenir of Italy’s great victory. Del Piero would continue to make appearances as both a substitute and captain up until 2010 when he played his last international match in the qualifying rounds of the 2010 World Cup.
The Trophy Cabinet
Del Piero’s extensive career at Juventus has helped the club fill the trophy cabinet. While with the club, Del Piero and Juve won the Serie A an impressive 6 times. The club also won a Serie B title in 2007 after relegation. Juventus dominated Italian football during Del Piero’s career, winning a Coppa Italia and four Supercoppas.
The 1995-96 season was a great year for Del Piero. His club one the Champions League as well as the UEFA Super Cup and Intercontinental cup. During this season he was nominated for the Ballon d’Or and was named the MVP of the Intercontinental cup and the European Footballer of the Year Under 21. In 2006, Del Piero helped Italy lift their fourth World Cup. Throughout his career, Del Piero added a plethora of individual awards to his legacy. He was named the Serie A Italian Footballer of the year twice. In 2015, Del Piero was named to the Sydney FC Hall of Fame. Two years later he was inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame.
Throughout his two decades with Juventus, Del Piero played with some of the most legendary players in the club’s storied history.
The midfielder played with Del Piero for a significant chunk of his career. Nedved is responsible for many of the assists behind Del Piero’s most iconic goals.
Inzaghi and Del Piero both played as strikers for Juventus around the turn of the century. The two were responsible for leading the clubs aggressive offensive attack.
The Italian center-back played with Del Piero for both club and country. Cannavaro helped feed Del Piero’s goal scoring habit.
The defensive midfielder played with Del Piero for seven years while at Juventus. David's would often create opportunities for Del Piero’s extravagant goals.
Where Is He Now
After hanging up his boots in 2015, Del Piero has taken a break from football. In 2018 he opened an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles. He has been running that ever since.
Alessandro Del Piero is an absolute football legend. His time at Juventus helped define the club as the powerhouse they are today. Classic Del Piero football shirts are iconic of his time at the club. A match worn classic Juventus shirt was auctioned off for charity in 2010. Iconic Del Piero shirts are still incredibly collectable to this day.