Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Frank Lopapa On May - 17 - 2012

Alessandro Del Piero Ends Juventus Career in Style

It all ended just the way everyone had hoped. Sunday was already going to be an emotional day for Alessandro Del Piero, who most likely would be playing in his last home match for Juventus, a club he had stayed with for an astonishing nineteen years. But to score was the cherry on top. In the 28th minute, with Juve ahead 1-0 thanks to the up-and-coming Luca Marrone, Del Piero received a pass just outside the 18-yard box. Shaping to shoot towards the keeper’s left, the Bianconeri’s all-time leading scorer curled the ball the opposite way, past Andrea Consigli and into the net. The celebration proved to be even better; the rest of his teammates on the field ran towards him and enveloped the striker in a group embrace.

Thirty minutes later, Simone Pepe replaced Del Piero, who subsequently received a standing ovation from the entire stadium, including the opposition players. The day’s events became even more surreal, as the crowd continued to sing Del Perio’s name, and continued to applaud him. ‘Il Pinturrichio’ acknowledged the fans’ adulation; however, this would prove not to be enough. Eventually Del Piero emerged from the bench, and began to do a lap of honor as the match continued. The game after that essentially became an afterthought. As Del Piero walked around the pitch applauding the supporters, dozens of scarves flew at his feet like bouquets of flowers for a virtuoso musician at his final performance. It was extremely difficult for both the supporters and Del Piero himself to hold back their emotions during this extraordinary event.

At the trophy presentation, Alex was the last to be called up to the podium, where for what looks to be the final time for the Old Lady, lifted up the Serie A trophy. There is, of course, one more trophy to win, as this Sunday Juventus face their southern rivals Napoli in the Italian Cup final. We still haven’t seen the last of Alessandro Del Piero in black and white, so for him to truly exit in style, Juventus style, one more trophy needs to be lifted up by the captain.

In a career full of highlights, including match-winning and record-breaking goals, eight Serie A titles, three consecutive Champions league final appearances (winning one), and a World Cup triumph, one of the most enduring images of Del Piero’s illustrious career may prove to be him walking around the pitch, thanking the supporters for their two decades of support though the good times and the bad.

As for Del Piero’s post-Juventus playing career, the latest rumors have him going to the Premier League, where he is being linked to several London clubs. After the Calciopoli scandal broke six years ago, the 37-year-old was linked to Arsenal, who are again cited as a potential destination with Tottenham and Queens Park Rangers also listed. There is also the distinct possibility of Del Piero either heading east to the Gulf states or west to Major League Soccer. Either way, the sight of Del Piero in anything other than black and white (or pink) will be as surreal a sight as seeing a lap of honor trump an ongoing match.

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