When I walked out of the players tunnel, onto the pitch of some Australian stadium, I knew this would be my last game. It was only halfway through the first half that I started feeling my legs, and I requested a substitute. All the fans, about 2.000 in the massive 30.000-seater stadium, cheered for me when I walked out of the field, for the last time ever. I realised this would be my last match as a professional football player, and I started crying on the pitch, I felt embarrassed, but I managed to get to the dug-out before anybody saw me. I gave all the players a handshake, and saluted the fans of my club on the stands before taking a shower. After the match I had to give an interview, I thanked every manager that I ever had at Juventus and in Australia. The journalists in the press room, from all over the world, put their hands together for me one last time.
A couple of weeks later, my old teammate Gianluigi Buffon told me that he had organised a farewell match for me in the Juventus Stadium, against FC Barcelona! I was thrilled and emotional at the same time, I thanked my good friend Gianluigi for this beautiful gesture. I walked onto the pitch, together with ex-teammates Gianluigi Buffon, Lilian Thuram, Giorgio Chiellini, Fabio Cannavaro, Paolo Maldini - Zinedine Zidane, Daniele De Rossi, Andrea Pirlo, Pavel Nedved – Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and of course me: Alessandro Del Piero: I started off my career in the youth ranks of San Vendemiano. Quickly, Padova picked me up, for them I played my first competitive matches: 14 matches and only 1 goal. Then I joined the club that will always be deep in my heart, a club at which I have not only experienced the highs of being a professional footballer, but also the lows: think of our relegation in 2006, following a match-fixing scandal. It’s something I will never forget in my life, and I’m proud that there were so many players that stayed at the beautiful club to help us go to the top of Italy again. For Juventus, I played 646 competitive matches, in which I scored 277 goals. After my 19-year-long spell at Juventus, I made a very emotional decision, as I decided it was time to leave The Old Lady. I joined Sydney FC, an Australian team, where I wanted to enjoy life as a footballer, but not under enormous amounts of pressure to perform every single day. In Sydney, I scored another 19 goals in 34 games.
After this long career, I decided to stop playing as a professional footballer, with pain in my heart. I didn’t want to leave football for good, as it’s a sport very close to my heart, and it will always be. I decided to take up coaching: I studied for my UEFA Pro License, and I passed the exam easily. Everybody said I would get a good career as a coach, because they all thought I would make a great coach, so I applied for some jobs around the world. I already had a good reputation in the world of football, that made finding a club pretty easy, I thought. I applied at several clubs, such as Sampdoria, VfB Stuttgart and Genoa. But eventually, only Sydney FC, my old club, wanted me as their manager, so I decided to sign a contract there.
That’s where we are right now: in Sydney, just after I decided to make this decision. Unlike in my playing career, I don’t want to stay at this club for a long time, I will try to get the attention of European clubs, and hopefully in a season or two, I’ll be able to venture to Europe.
It was a week ago I played my last match, with my friends from Juventus and from the national team, but I still don’t feel quite fit, I think I made the right decision to stop my career.
Me, signing my contract at Sydney FC
As you can see. I’m writing this new story, a journeyman story, in the perspective of a legend: Alessandro Del Piero, hopefully you’ll like this new story, let me know! I’ve gone for Sydney FC, as nobody has used them for a story before, and I have never managed in Australia myself.
I don’t really have any goals, I’ll just accept job offers as I go, and see if Del Piero can be as successful as he was as a player!
Notes:-I’m using pr0’s database update, so all the transfers, promotions/relegations are up to date.
-The updates will be about every half year, and sometimes there will be a bit of story.