The Italian Maestro
A technically gifted, and creative supporting forward, who was also a free-kick specialist, Del Piero is widely regarded by players, pundits, and managers as one of the greatest players of his generation, and as one of the best Italian players of all time. On his 43rd birthday, here is something you wanna know.
Early Life :
Born in Conegliano, Veneto, Del Piero is the son of Gino, an electrician, and Bruna, a housekeeper. He regularly played football in the backyard with two friends, Nelso and Pierpaolo, as a child. All three dreamed of becoming footballers, but only Alessandro would eventually manage to do so. Alessandro’s older brother, Stefano, briefly played professional football for Sampdoria before an injury curtailed his career; he later worked as Alessandro’s agent.
In the summer of 1993 Juventus signed him from Padova and Alex was an immediate hit, scoring a hat-trick against Parma on his first start for the club. After fine form for the Turin outfit, Del Piero made his international debut for Italy and represented his country for thirteen years between 1995 and 2008. A mainstay of the Serie A giants for nearly twenty years, Alex took over the role as captain in 2001. He is regarded as one of the finest dead ball specialists in the modern game, particularly proficient with penalties and free kicks on the edge of the area which suit the left foot. Del Piero showed his loyalty to Juventus when they were relegated to Serie B as part of the fallout from a match-fixing scandal and fired them back into Italy’s top flight. He continues to feature regularly to this day.
On 5 September 2012, Alessandro Del Piero signed a two-year deal with Sydney FC. He was paid approximately AU$3.5 million for each of his first two seasons, and therefore became the highest-paid footballer to ever play in Australia.
On 23 August 2014, it was reported that Delhi Dynamos, an Indian side that was set to play in the inaugural Indian Super League season, was in talks with Del Piero. Del Piero made 10 appearances throughout the season as Delhi finished in fifth place, failing to reach the playoffs by a single point.
Del Piero is currently Italy’s joint fourth all-time leading scorer, along with Roberto Baggio, with 27 goals in 91 appearances, with 2 goals for Italy coming in 12 World Cup matches and 1 goal in 13 European Championship matches. Del Piero made his senior debut under Arrigo Sacchi at the age of 20, on 25 March 1995, in a 4–1 win over Estonia in a Euro 1996 qualifying match. Del Piero took part in the 2006 FIFA World Cup under manager Marcello Lippi, appearing in five matches, and two out of the three group stage matches; he made his first start of the competition in a 1–0 round of 16 win over Australia on 26 June. In the final against France, which ended 1–1 after extra time, Del Piero scored a penalty in the shootout as Italy won the tournament for the fourth time.
In October 2015, after almost a year without a club, Del Piero officially communicated his retirement from professional football, also stating his intention to pursue a coaching career.
Style of play :
Due to his creative style of play, eye for goal, flair, and technical skill, Del Piero was known as a “fantasista” in Italy. His hard-working playing style was regarded by critics as creative in attacking, assisting many goals as well as scoring himself, as opposed to just “goal poaching”. Because of his technical characteristics, Del Piero usually played as a supporting-striker, which was his preferred role,although he was a tactically versatile forward, with good movement, who was capable of playing anywhere along the front line.
Personal Life :
Del Piero is married to Sonia Amoruso and the two have been together since 1999 and married in 2005. They have three children, son Tobias (born 2007), daughter Dorotea (born 2009) and son Sasha (born 2010)
Del Piero has promoted and supported a number of charities. In 1998, he donated 5.2 million lire to “Fondazione Bambini in Emergenza” (for abandoned children and victims of AIDS) by auctioning his Juventus shirt. In 2001, he was ambassador for “Un gol per la ricerca” (for the cancer research). In 2006, he was AIRC testimonial for the cancer research and in recognition of this, he has received from the President of Italy a prize of “Believe in Research”.
Senior squad :
6 Serie A: 1994–95, 1996–97, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05[nb 1], 2005–06 [nb 1], 2011–12
1 Serie B: 2006–07
1 Coppa Italia: 1994–95
4 Supercoppa Italiana: 1995, 1997, 2002, 2003
1 UEFA Champions League: 1995–96
1 UEFA Cup Runner-up (1): 1994–95
1 UEFA Super Cup: 1996
1 Intercontinental Cup: 1996
1 UEFA Intertoto Cup: 1999
Primavera squad :
1 Torneo di Viareggio: 1994
1 Campionato Nazionale Primavera: 1993–94
FIFA World Cup: 2006
UEFA European Championship Runner-up (1): 2000
UNICEF European Footballer of the Season: 1995–96
Most Valuable Player Intercontinental Cup: 1996
European Footballer of the Year Under-21: 1996
Tournoi de France-Top scorer: 1997 (3 goals)
UEFA Champions League-Top scorer: 1997–98 (10 goals)
Serie A Italian Footballer of the Year: 1998, 2008
Serie A-Top assist provider: 1999–2000
Coppa Italia-Top scorer: 2005–06 (5 goals)
Giuseppe Prisco National Award: 2006
USSI Prize-Italian sportsman of the year: 2006
Special Prize Gentleman Silver Cup: 2006
San Siro Gentleman Award Serie A: 2006
Serie B-Top scorer: 2006–07 (20 goals)
Golden Foot Award: 2007
Serie A-Top scorer: 2007–08 (21 goals
Oscar AIC-Top scorer: 200
Premio Nazionale Carriera Esemplare “Gaetano Scirea”: 2008
Pallone d’Argento: 2008–09
Sportsman of the Year Golden Award: 2010
Novara Fair Play Award: 2011
Oscar AIC-Award to Career 2011
A-League goal of the season: 2012–13
Sydney FC Golden Boot: 2013, 2014
PFA Team of the Season: 2013
Sydney FC Player of the Year Award: 2013
Sydney FC Hall of Fame: 2015
<blockquote class=”twitter-video” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Happy birthday to Alessandro Del Piero. Legend! <a href=”https://t.co/2hMYnrT8HY”>pic.twitter.com/2hMYnrT8HY</a></p>— Classic Football (@ClassicFootbaIl) <a href=”https://twitter.com/ClassicFootbaIl/status/928561447269031936?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>November 9, 2017</a></blockquote>
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When the Olympic Flame for the 2006 Winter Olympics passed through Turin, Del Piero was a torchbearer. This music lover man was not only a professional footballer but also a complete man with a great heart. Happy Birthday Fantasista !