If Alessandro Del Piero had decided to join Liverpool instead of Sydney FC after the Merseyside club made a late bid for his services, their start to this new EPL season could have been very different. Even at the age of 37, Del Piero would have still added a new dimension to The Reds striking options which have been limited due to lack of personnel. But instead the former Juventus and Italy star decided to commit his services to ambitious Australian club Sydney FC, who are hoping that the Italian ace can have a similar type of effect for the league as David Beckham has had on the MLS.
Del Piero is excited about his new club and what lies ahead:
“I wasn’t interested in money. I’ve won everything there is to win so another Champions League campaign would have done nothing for me. I came to Australia to experience something new and I want to make the most of this new adventure. Above all I just want to play football.”
The free kick specialist gave his new teammates and their fans a glimpse of what is ahead with a 24th minute goal on his home debut. In front of a crowd of 35,419, a new record for Sydney FC, Del Piero placed the ball down some 22 yards out after being brought down by Newcastle Jets defender Tiago Calvano. In typical style, he lined up his kick, took a step to the left, started his run and curled the ball beautifully into the top corner, past reigning Jets Player of the Year, goalkeeper Ben Kennedy to cancel out Ryan Griffiths earlier strike.
The stadium erupted and Del Piero could celebrate with his new teammates. Despite Newcastle Jets going on to win the match 3-2 courtesy of a goal from former England striker Emile Heskey and a strike from left back Craig Goodwin, Del Piero was upbeat about his teams prospects for this season.
“We are not happy, we have a lot of work to. We had a great second half, but we have to play like that the whole game, the same energy and same concentration. But 35,000 people was amazing and we hope by the end of the season the fans will be proud of us.”
If Sydney FC are to win their first A League title since 2009, they will need their star player to be on form and scoring his trademark free kicks on a regular basis. The World Cup winning striker has the ability but time will tell if he still has the legs to lead his team through the season to glory.
See Del Piero’s stunning free kick for Sydney FC here on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8IJXWiopfE