If the game of football, Italy, and Juventus were to be genres of drama, there wouldn’t have been a bigger superstar than Alessandro Del Piero. Perhaps a long-winded book would fall short while covering the records and honours that the six-time Scudetto winner has accumulated during his illustrious playing years.
It has been almost a decade since he bade farewell to his beloved Juventus, but Juventini still sing his name in chorus, making the younger generation of fans aware of the deeds committed by the so-called Mr Juventus.
And who can blame them? After all, the name they chant is of the Old Lady’s all-time leading goalscorer — tallying 290 goals across all competitions. He has made the most appearances (705) for the club and logged the second-most appearances (478) in Serie A.
In May 2012, Del Piero rebuffed Juve’s offer to retire the number 10 shirt in his honour after winning his sixth and final Serie A title. A few months later, Juve’s all-time leading goalscorer left Turin to enjoy brief spells in the Australian A-League and Indian Super League before ultimately hanging up his boots.
On November 9, 2021, the world celebrated Del Piero’s 47th birthday. The “Pinturicchio” has grown old.
In a week that marks the living legend’s 47th birthday, Old Juve will remember Del Piero’s top five greatest moments in the black and white outfit.
5. Juventini had not seen anything like that before!
The Bianconeri had endured a nine-year-long spell without a Scudetto between1986 and 1995. Already regarded as a phenomenal prospect, Alessandro Del Piero, at the age of 20, was still a novice. He was trying to find his feet in the top-tier of the competition.
Italy was famous for its seven sisters — the teams that would always be in the mix to claim the Scudetto at the end of the season. Fiorentina were a club that belonged to that illustrious hub.
On a wintry afternoon in December, Juventus welcomed La Viola to Turin. The atmosphere was as fierce as it could get with the visitors boasting the likes of Anselmo Robbiati, Francesco Baiano, Angelo Carbone, and, of course, Gabriel Batistuta in their ranks. They were ready to upset Juve in their own backyard.
Who knew that a 20-year-old would be the killjoy.
The game had already seen four goals, with the scoreline showing two goals each. As the game neared its conclusion, a draw seemed inevitable. However, in the 88th-minute, the camera spotted an onrushing Del Piero trying to get on the end of a long ball hoisted from the left flank.
A first-time volley is what took the entire Fiorentina defence by utter surprise. The audacity shown by the young Del Piero was enough to eliminate La Viola’s custodian in Francesco Toldo from the game. Going forward, Juventus would win the Scudetto, which would be Del Perio’s first of six Scudetti. And what about the goal? The goal would go into the history books as one of the greatest goals scored in the top-tier of Italy.