Del Piero is having some fun during practice with Sydney FC
SYDNEY, Australia ● Alessandro Del Piero arrived to Sydney, Australia from his former home of Juventus amid wild cheering from fans who lined the airport for hours awaiting his arrival.
His coming to join the Sydney FC hails the movement to revamp how Australia views and plays football, giving the team and fans alike reason to celebrate this season.
Lost in a sea of flashing cameras and enthusiastic requests for autographs, the former Italian athlete seemed just as pleased with this exchange as the fans did. With his wife and children by his side, Del Piero obliged his following and finally made his way to a hotel before emerging again to meet with his new team.
Even though Del Piero is undoubtedly a superstar, the handlers of Sydney FC decided against making him the team captain, electing instead to stay with veteran Terry McFlynn as skipper.
McFlynn has acknowledged his gratitude for retaining captaincy, but happily allows for the pleasure and necessity of having a seasoned footballer like Del Piero on the team.
The Italian star is not just talent, but also experience, and is valued for his vast wealth of knowledge on the subject and practice of football. The team’s manager has made it well known that while Del Piero is a special team member, he is still one of many and all is achieved through team effort.
Already, Sydney FC jerseys with his signature number 10 are being sold out in stores globally, and over 2,000 club memberships have been purchased since his arrival. The fan fervor is catching fire, giving hope to the footballers for a full stadium when the first home game night arrives on October 13th (For more information on ticket pricing, please visit http://www.ticketbis.net/.)
Over the years, interest in Sydney FC and football in general has been steadily waning in the area. Crowds slowly shrank and the league suffered the collapse of two different teams. Footballing has desperately needed a fresh new face, and football fans needed a reason to leave the couch and flock to the stands again.
Alessandro Del Piero appears to be exactly what the league called for, delivering star power and what hopes to be enough experience to get the Sydney FC back on a winning track. His transfer from Juventus to Sydney is being compared to that of David Beckham’s signing with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Fans aren’t the only ones so well pleased with the arrival of the Italian wonder. Amid the team, smiles were constant and greetings were jovial during when Del Piero made his first appearance in the dressing room.
Being the black sheep of a new team is a legitimate dread of any player, but that doesn’t seem to be something Del Piero will need to fear. According to the team captain, the room was alive with happy anticipation over what’s to come with the addition of Del Piero, leaving both a newly excited fan base and a well pleased manager and team.
Though Del Piero is certainly now the highest paid athlete with a hefty $2 million a year contract under his belt, the fire this has lit under fans has made it worth his high price tag alone. Football is certainly set to make come back not just for Sydney, but for all of Australia.
Alessandro Del Piero has brought more than a big name to the Sydney FC; he’s brought hope back to the field of football in the nation, and team spirit back into to the fans who have found it so lacking in recent years. It’s safe to say that the love of football was never gone, but simply dormant, and Del Piero’s spark was exactly what the doctor ordered for the tired pastime.
With a world cup under his belt and a club record of 286 goals for Juventus alone, Del Piero has made one thing very clear: His goal has always been, and will always be to win. “This is not the end of my career, but rather the start of a new one” he was quoted as saying in regards to leaving the familiar ground of Juventus.
It’s become very evident that it’s not only the start of his new career, but of a new era for football in Australia, and the future for the sport in Sydney has never looked so promising.