Il Capitano Alessandro Del Piero - Juventus Legends - Juventuz Forums - Page 3068
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  1. #61341
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badass Vidal View Post
    stam and van nist are nothing compared to say ryan giggs or scholes though, whilst beckham well i guess you can't keep everyone happy but in general they treat their legends well, i forgot to mention the sending off man utd gave to van der sar last season too.
    they were legends and important parts of the team. So yes was a pathetic making me puke action of the class guy SAF
    Andrea Agnelli: Four years ago we were in my office and Claudio told me with a great deal of honesty that he wouldn't want to be one of the few players who didn't win anything at Juventus. I replied that I didn't want to be the only Agnelli who didn't bring any silverware to the club. The rest is history.

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    PAULO DYBBAAALLLAAA!!! Badass Dybala's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bezzy View Post
    they were legends and important parts of the team. So yes was a pathetic making me puke action of the class guy SAF
    when was the last time Juve actually gave a good send off to anyone?
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  3. #61343
    21st Century Schizoid Man ZoSo's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by gray View Post
    Truth be told, I'm tempted to close it, because it's about as constructive as the Giovinco thread at the moment.
    Very.

    Juve Fino Alla Fine!

    Quote Originally Posted by Badass Vidal/Marcelo View Post
    Vucinic he once told Arturo that he will fuck Arturo mother and sister and Arturo was mad, but then he saw that Mirko tells that to everyone and he even told his twin brother that he will fuck his mother and sister. That is something Mirko say all the time and now nobody is angry with Mirko.

  4. #61344
    The Bookie Queen Bezzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badass Vidal View Post
    when was the last time Juve actually gave a good send off to anyone?
    Nedved? I don't remember but this was about Man united and being a fake class club. Sorry andy but I really don't like manchester united cos they act like they are full of class but guess what they aren't

    Since we are back in CL I can puke again on Manchester United
    Andrea Agnelli: Four years ago we were in my office and Claudio told me with a great deal of honesty that he wouldn't want to be one of the few players who didn't win anything at Juventus. I replied that I didn't want to be the only Agnelli who didn't bring any silverware to the club. The rest is history.

  5. #61345
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badass Vidal View Post
    stam and van nist are nothing compared to say ryan giggs or scholes though, whilst beckham well i guess you can't keep everyone happy but in general they treat their legends well, i forgot to mention the sending off man utd gave to van der sar last season too.
    Speaking of ManU...

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  6. #61346
    PAULO DYBBAAALLLAAA!!! Badass Dybala's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bezzy View Post
    Nedved? I don't remember but this was about Man united and being a fake class club. Sorry andy but I really don't like manchester united cos they act like they are full of class but guess what they aren't

    Since we are back in CL I can puke again on Manchester United
    meh honestly i dont hate man utd as most here, when players like giggs who says things such as "we aspired to become like Juventus" and how Del Piero is the greatest Italian player in his opinion, as well as SAF's friendly relationship with Lippi, the fact we were invited to part take in gary neville's testamonial as a sign of both friendship and friendly rivalry from our epic european battles and to top it off with their fans giving DP a standing ovasion, how exactly you can hate man utd i don't really know, this is not to say i support them but they are not as unbareable as some make them out to be
    ILLLLLL TRICOLOOOOOOOR ABBIAMO VINTO IL TRICOLOOOOOOOOOOOR ABBIAMO VINTO IL TRICCCOOOOLLLOOOOOORRRRRRRRR

    It's not Just a stadium - It's our Home. It's not just a kit - It's our Skin. We're not only Eleven - We're Millions. We're not just a crowd - We're a family. It's not just 90 minutes - It's a lifetime. It's not just a passion - It's an emotion. It's not just a game - It's our life. Juventus is not just a club - It's a lifestyle!

  7. #61347
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badass Vidal View Post
    meh honestly i dont hate man utd as most here, when players like giggs who says things such as "we aspired to become like Juventus" and how Del Piero is the greatest Italian player in his opinion, as well as SAF's friendly relationship with Lippi, the fact we were invited to part take in gary neville's testamonial as a sign of both friendship and friendly rivalry from our epic european battles and to top it off with their fans giving DP a standing ovasion, how exactly you can hate man utd i don't really know, this is not to say i support them but they are not as unbareable as some make them out to be
    yes and your best friend is a man utd fan . I do hate them. What about Real Madrid?

    they have respect juve and alé too.
    Andrea Agnelli: Four years ago we were in my office and Claudio told me with a great deal of honesty that he wouldn't want to be one of the few players who didn't win anything at Juventus. I replied that I didn't want to be the only Agnelli who didn't bring any silverware to the club. The rest is history.

  8. #61348
    PAULO DYBBAAALLLAAA!!! Badass Dybala's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bezzy View Post
    yes and your best friend is a man utd fan . I do hate them. What about Real Madrid?

    they have respect juve and alé too.
    not just him but every man utd fan i know, quite a few at work and also within my social circle all have respect for Juve.

    meh i have no problems with RM neither, what they did throughout their galactico's era had no concern of ours, its not like madrid ever said anything bad about us, not like bayern munich to say the least. what a club does which doesn't concern Juve doesn't bother me one bit, it is only what they say and do to us is another matter.
    ILLLLLL TRICOLOOOOOOOR ABBIAMO VINTO IL TRICOLOOOOOOOOOOOR ABBIAMO VINTO IL TRICCCOOOOLLLOOOOOORRRRRRRRR

    It's not Just a stadium - It's our Home. It's not just a kit - It's our Skin. We're not only Eleven - We're Millions. We're not just a crowd - We're a family. It's not just 90 minutes - It's a lifetime. It's not just a passion - It's an emotion. It's not just a game - It's our life. Juventus is not just a club - It's a lifestyle!

  9. #61349
    L'autista swag's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bezzy View Post
    yes and your best friend is a man utd fan . I do hate them. What about Real Madrid?

    they have respect juve and alé too.
    When the Real Madrid fans cheered Alex when we last beat them in the CL... that was truly classy.
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  10. #61350
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    Quote Originally Posted by swag View Post
    When the Real Madrid fans cheered Alex when we last beat them in the CL... that was truly classy.
    exactly

    ---------- Post added 17.05.2012 at 18:04 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Badass Vidal View Post
    not just him but every man utd fan i know, quite a few at work and also within my social circle all have respect for Juve.

    meh i have no problems with RM neither, what they did throughout their galactico's era had no concern of ours, its not like madrid ever said anything bad about us, not like bayern munich to say the least. what a club does which doesn't concern Juve doesn't bother me one bit, it is only what they say and do to us is another matter.
    ok ok I still hate manchester united. he ajax fans respect juve too but I still don't like the club It is just natural to respect other clubs and definitely if you aren't supporting any club from that league like your friends.
    Andrea Agnelli: Four years ago we were in my office and Claudio told me with a great deal of honesty that he wouldn't want to be one of the few players who didn't win anything at Juventus. I replied that I didn't want to be the only Agnelli who didn't bring any silverware to the club. The rest is history.

  11. #61351
    PAULO DYBBAAALLLAAA!!! Badass Dybala's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bezzy View Post
    exactly

    ---------- Post added 17.05.2012 at 18:04 ----------



    ok ok I still hate manchester united. he ajax fans respect juve too but I still don't like the club It is just natural to respect other clubs and definitely if you aren't supporting any club from that league like your friends.
    so you're ok with RM fans applauding DP but when man utd fans do it you dislike them anyways?

    i thought you said Ajax fans hated Juve, hence why you told me it wasn't a good idea to wear my Juve shirt in amsterdam
    ILLLLLL TRICOLOOOOOOOR ABBIAMO VINTO IL TRICOLOOOOOOOOOOOR ABBIAMO VINTO IL TRICCCOOOOLLLOOOOOORRRRRRRRR

    It's not Just a stadium - It's our Home. It's not just a kit - It's our Skin. We're not only Eleven - We're Millions. We're not just a crowd - We're a family. It's not just 90 minutes - It's a lifetime. It's not just a passion - It's an emotion. It's not just a game - It's our life. Juventus is not just a club - It's a lifestyle!

  12. #61352
    The Bookie Queen Bezzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badass Vidal View Post
    so you're ok with RM fans applauding DP but when man utd fans do it you dislike them anyways?

    i thought you said Ajax fans hated Juve, hence why you told me it wasn't a good idea to wear my Juve shirt in amsterdam
    andy: i say the hard part (ultras) of ajax fans hates juve, but the ajax fans around me respect juve.
    I didn't tell you u can't wear your ajax shirt in Amsterdam if you go to ajax - juve and wearing your juve shirt isn't a good idea
    I just dislike man united and specially that fake chewing gum coach of them I don't dislike their fans.
    Andrea Agnelli: Four years ago we were in my office and Claudio told me with a great deal of honesty that he wouldn't want to be one of the few players who didn't win anything at Juventus. I replied that I didn't want to be the only Agnelli who didn't bring any silverware to the club. The rest is history.

  13. #61353
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badass Vidal View Post
    so you're ok with RM fans applauding DP but when man utd fans do it you dislike them anyways?
    I will applaud them when they do something cool like that, no question. Doesn't matter if they're Real or Manchowder U.
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  14. #61354
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    Did you really guys expect Del Piero to make a fool of himself and start talking his mind and talk shiite about how Agnelli treated him? How Juve are ungrateful?

    He is class and he won't do that. But fans will show class too by protesting and showing to Agnelli that what he did was a stupidest thing he did and could ever do.

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    When the nights began to pull in around San Vendemiano, Gino Del Piero couldn’t bring himself to call out to his son Alessandro and tell him that it was time to pick up his ball and come inside. Once darkness fell, he would instead open up the garage, turn on the light, get into his FIAT 127 and park it outside. A space was left for the boy to practice in until bedtime when he’d head up to the room he shared with his brother Stefano and go to sleep under a poster of Michel Platini.

    Alessandro was encouraged to keep playing football for as long as he wanted. Decades later the enthusiasm he has for the game remains undiminished. It seems as though he still feels the same giddy excitement as the time he unwrapped a birthday present from his father and discovered a box containing his first ever football boots, a pair of classic Adidas Littbarskis.

    The thought of retiring, even at 37 after winning everything there is to win, hasn’t seriously crossed his mind. “I will be the first one to know when I have to stop but not yet: my passion for the game is too alive,” Del Piero told Vanity Fair. “It’s not easy to say how long I have got left,” he added in L’Équipe. “If I think about the passion that I have for football, for my job, I would say 20 years.”

    The travesty is that Del Piero will not be allowed to carry on and finish his career at Juventus, the club of his heart.

    This has been known for some time now. On May 5, 2011, Del Piero declared he’d signed a one-year extension and that “it will be my last contract with this shirt.” Sitting by his side as he put pen to paper, president Andrea Agnelli confirmed: “It will be Del Piero’s last season at Juve.” The never-ending story had a final chapter. And yet few, not least Del Piero, were ready to put the book down. “The hope,” he insisted, “is to stay at Juventus for as long as possible.”

    It wasn’t to be. At a shareholders’ assembly on a cold, grey afternoon in mid-October Agnelli reiterated rather abruptly without warning and little ceremony that, yes, this would in fact be Del Piero’s final year. There was a round of applause and that, it seemed, was that.

    The news itself wasn’t a great shock. Agnelli in mitigation had his reasons for making an announcement on that occasion. But the sensation remained that it could and should have been handled better; that perhaps it would have been more appropriate to tie it in with the memorable opening of Juventus’s new stadium. Instead, it was mentioned amid a discussion about the club making a fresh capital injection after an “intolerable” financial loss, hardly the ideal moment to pay proper tribute to one of the most valuable players in its history. “It’s like breaking up with a lover of 20 years by text message,” wrote Luigi Garlando in La Gazzetta dello Sport.

    Reported to have not taken it well, Del Piero was diplomatic when the satirical show Striscia la Notizia caught up with him a few days later to give him the Tapiro d’Oro. “Let’s say the president reminded me of my contract expiring early,” he mused. Keen not to make anything more out of it, Del Piero left it there until later in the season when he conceded that “[Agnelli] surprised me. But a captain must never forget his duties and what he represents.”

    Recurrent not just among i delpieriani of Juventus’s support, but Italians in general, was the feeling that Del Piero deserved something more. He was very nearly the best thing the Old Lady never had.

    “Before joining Padova at 13. I had a trial some months earlier to go and play in Turin… but at another club, Torino!” Del Piero told France Football. “At the time they probably had the best academy in Italy. But my mother was categorical: ‘You’re only 12. You’re too young and Turin is a long way away’.”

    Once at Padova, legend has it that a Juventus scout famously came to watch one of his games. Unimpressed, he left a quarter of an hour from the end. Del Piero then scored twice. Destiny, it seemed, would have to intervene. And it did.

    A teenage Del Piero signed at Juventus’s headquarters in Piazza Crimea. It was 1993. Reflecting on that time, the great former player Giampiero Boniperti, then club president, wrote in his book una vita a testa alta: “I immediately took him to see the trophies. ‘Have you seen how many we have won?’ I asked. ‘I hope that you can contribute to making Juventus even greater’.”

    Del Piero did that and more.

    By the age of 22, he had won everything there was to win at club level. As of last week, he could count six Scudetti [or a record-equaling eight - like Beppe Furino, Ciro Ferrara, Giovanni Ferrari and Virginio Rosetta - if you include, as he does, the two revoked by Calciopoli] a Cadetto, a Coppa Italia, four Italian Super Cups, a Champions League, an Intercontinental Cup, the European Super Cup and of course the 2006 World Cup among his major honors.

    Over time, he surpassed the immaculate Gaetano Scirea as Juventus’s all-time leader in appearances. He eclipsed Boniperti himself as the club’s top scorer in Serie A and also in absolute with 289 goals.

    Kids up and down the peninsula, playing in the streets and squares of Turin, Milan, Rome and Naples, have attempted, while providing their own radio commentary, to score a gol alla Del Piero – emulating the looping cushioned volley with the outside of the foot against Fiorentina, the mazy dribbles from the wing before cutting inside the box and curling a shot into the top corner against Lazio and so many others, the pivot against River Plate, the backheel against Borussia Dortmund, the free-kick against Milan, the last gasp counter in added time of extra-time against Germany and the brace that earned a standing ovation from Real Madrid fans at the Bernabeu.

    Wherever Juventus called home throughout his career, he left his mark, finding the net at the Stadio Communale, the Delle Alpi, the Olimpico and the eponymous Juventus Arena. Del Piero is the thread that binds them all together. He is living history and from him, there are many lessons to be learned.

    Del Piero never showed anything but respect for Juventus. It bears remembering how, after he was presented with his first shirt in the introductory press conference following his transfer from Padova, he neatly and delicately folded the black and white jersey. He didn’t toss it to one side and leave it crumpled on the floor like other new signings. He valued it, as many would his loyalty.

    Del Piero always stood by Juventus even amid the doping allegations, the Calciopoli scandal and relegation to Serie B. He didn’t walk out like some of the others or abandon ship like Schettino. He assumed responsibility and led them out of the darkness back into the light. None of the other “simboli per sempre” – Omar Sivori, Boniperti, Roberto Bettega, Michel Platini and Dino Zoff – had their devotion to the club tested to the same degree. None of them had a day like that in Rimini on September 9, 2006 when Juventus’s first ever season in Serie B began, their shirts stripped of a Scudetto that was remembered in a tricolor wristband.

    For that service Juventus owe Del Piero a special gratitude. The club is what it is today in large part because of him. Separating one from the other in the collective imagination is an exercise in futility. They are indistinguishable. “Throughout the world Juventus is Del Piero,” opined former coach and mentor Marcello Lippi. “When you say his name it means Juve. I don’t know what happened between him and the club.”

    Understanding the whys and wherefores is possible. Agnelli, with all due respect for Del Piero, regardless of the rather clumsy way he has shown it, is of the opinion that the player is the past not the future of the club. Del Piero still feels he has so much more to give, not on the bench, but from the start. A bit-part player for much of this season, left on the sidelines even when Juventus’s strikers were misfiring, Del Piero proved decisive when called upon, scoring in the Coppa Italia semi-final against Milan, the Derby d’Italia with Inter, and then at home to Lazio when his winner appeared to greatly shift the momentum in the title race back in favour of his team.

    Knowing as much, for as competitive a soul as Del Piero’s, being out of the starting XI can’t have been easy. He has called it “the most complicated [season] of my life because a reality was placed in front of me which I had never known: the reality of playing little or not at all.”

    In an ideal world, Del Piero would start every remaining game of his career in a Juventus shirt. The inconvenient truth is that he has to contemplate playing elsewhere. “From June 30, I am out of contract,” Del Piero acknowledged. “I don’t know what to think about my future, it’s a huge change and it frightens me a little because it’ll be like leaving home for a second time. But I am living it as though it were one of the video games that I liked as a child, a new level to overcome.”

    And so, Sunday’s game against Atalanta was Del Piero’s last in front of his home fans. As an occasion it will certainly live long in memory. After the Turin born and bred academy graduate Luca Marrone put Juventus ahead, who else but Del Piero should double their lead and make all but sure that his club entered the history books as only the third team after Perugia in 1978-79 and Milan in 1991-92 to go an entire season unbeaten in Serie A.

    Receiving the ball from Emanuele Giaccherini outside of the area, the Juventus No.10 lined up his sights, and pitched a wonderfully precise swinging shot into the corner. Like no other to my mind he has a habit of scoring goals that are charged with emotion and sentiment. It’s enough to think about the step-over and dink against Bari in 2001 just days after his father lost his battle to cancer and the flick against Piacenza shortly after l’Avvocato, the great Juventus patron, Gianni Agnelli past away in 2003.

    This time each of his teammates gathered around him in a circle. They paused for a little while to share the moment and take it all in. There was an appreciation that this was the last time it would happen here in Turin.

    If it hadn’t already sunk in, then Del Piero’s substitution in the 57th minute brought it home. Seeing the fourth official hold up his board and Simone Pepe warming up to replace him, Del Piero stopped in his footsteps, raised his hands to the sky and waved to the stands, blowing kisses and taking a bow.

    As he trudged off the pitch, the Atalanta players clapped and pat him on the back. A cry of “un Capitano, c’è solo un Capitano” rang out followed by “another year, Del Piero another year.” After embracing goalkeeper Gigi Buffon, he walked up the stairs to take his place in the dug out, stopping to sign the autograph of a young Juventino.

    No sooner had he got sat down than the crowd beckoned him to stand again. Urged on by Mirko Vucinic and Claudio Marchisio, he stood up and accepted the applause, pumping his fist before embarking on an impromptu lap of honor as play continued around him. No one was watching the game. Once under the Curva, scarves and shirts were thrown, landing at Del Piero’s feet like roses tossed before an opera singer. “Grazie di Tutto,” went the next chant.

    Back near the bench, Buffon, resting his head on his palm, looked on in wonder, shaking his head. “In the next 150 years there will not be anyone like Del Piero. I was moved,” he said afterwards. He wasn’t the only one. Cameras panned around the ground showing fans crying. Del Piero had to fight to keep his feelings inside too, pretending to tie his shoelaces “to hide my tears.” Saying goodbye is never easy.

    Circuit completed, he descended into the dressing room at full-time, poignantly emerging last to walk the celebratory red carpet and lift the Scudetto trophy under a snowstorm of ticker tape. If he were ready to retire, then there could surely have been no better time than this given the club is back on top. But, as is abundantly clear from the title of his new book giochiamo ancora [Let’s Keep Playing], his intention is another. “I have a lifetime to be a director. I was born to play football, I am healthy and I want to continue to do so.”

    Now all that remains is this weekend’s Coppa Italia final against Napoli. After that it’s into the unknown for the generations that have grown up with Del Piero: the prospect of a Juventus without him.

    The closest he has ever previously come to wearing a shirt other than bianconero was at the end of his first season in Turin. It had been agreed that he’d be sent on loan to Parma. There was a meeting with their owner Calisto Tanzi, but the deal fell through after they signed Dino Baggio and felt their shopping was done. “If I’d changed jersey, everything might have taken a different path.”

    Like a character in a Robert Frost poem he is now taking the one less travelled. “I’m a bit out of practice,” Del Piero claims. “I haven’t been on the market for 19 years.” He drew the comparison in his book with “entering Narnia.” But perhaps the real fairytale would have been for Del Piero to go through the wardrobe and find a way to finish his career at Juventus. Instead, we wish him a happy ending elsewhere.

    Ciao Ale, Grazie di tutto.


    http://jameshorncastle.com/
    "No color will ever be brighter for me than black and white." - Alessandro Del Piero

  16. #61356
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  17. #61357
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badass Vidal View Post
    doesnt know $#@!? where the $#@! were you on sunday? in your bolivian shack watching the game with llamas? again what part of me giving an account of what i heard and saw don't you understand?
    Are we starting with the racism/discrimination? Not in this thread badass.
    Lo stile Juve

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  18. #61358
    Promising youngster Grande Capitano's Avatar

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    well reading your posts from today I have to say few words
    this is very difficult part for all juventinos around the world. Many of us growed with Alex, and we started support Juve because of him. so u should understand some members here and their angry of Agnelli because Ale showed us this season all that he is stiil great player and he has still a lot to give for Juve and fottball. I will enjoy in his last game this Sunday and noboday will stop me to yel, cry or whatever. i can't say that I will not suport Juve anymore because Ale will gone. that is not true. Juve is my life, my red is black nad white. Ii know it will not be the same without him but I will watch Juvenuts games with same passion and love like I did it all this 14 years. And I wish all the best for Ale. he gave us so much that I think meine 2 lifes wouldn't be enough to say THANK YOU CAPITANO.
    FORZA ALEX, FORZA JUVEEEEE
    ‎"Un vero cavaliere non lascia mai una signora."

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    ★★★ Sheik Yerbouti's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahmed View Post
    When the nights began to pull in around San Vendemiano, Gino Del Piero couldn’t bring himself to call out to his son Alessandro and tell him that it was time to pick up his ball and come inside. Once darkness fell, he would instead open up the garage, turn on the light, get into his FIAT 127 and park it outside. A space was left for the boy to practice in until bedtime when he’d head up to the room he shared with his brother Stefano and go to sleep under a poster of Michel Platini.

    Alessandro was encouraged to keep playing football for as long as he wanted. Decades later the enthusiasm he has for the game remains undiminished. It seems as though he still feels the same giddy excitement as the time he unwrapped a birthday present from his father and discovered a box containing his first ever football boots, a pair of classic Adidas Littbarskis.

    The thought of retiring, even at 37 after winning everything there is to win, hasn’t seriously crossed his mind. “I will be the first one to know when I have to stop but not yet: my passion for the game is too alive,” Del Piero told Vanity Fair. “It’s not easy to say how long I have got left,” he added in L’Équipe. “If I think about the passion that I have for football, for my job, I would say 20 years.”

    The travesty is that Del Piero will not be allowed to carry on and finish his career at Juventus, the club of his heart.

    This has been known for some time now. On May 5, 2011, Del Piero declared he’d signed a one-year extension and that “it will be my last contract with this shirt.” Sitting by his side as he put pen to paper, president Andrea Agnelli confirmed: “It will be Del Piero’s last season at Juve.” The never-ending story had a final chapter. And yet few, not least Del Piero, were ready to put the book down. “The hope,” he insisted, “is to stay at Juventus for as long as possible.”

    It wasn’t to be. At a shareholders’ assembly on a cold, grey afternoon in mid-October Agnelli reiterated rather abruptly without warning and little ceremony that, yes, this would in fact be Del Piero’s final year. There was a round of applause and that, it seemed, was that.

    The news itself wasn’t a great shock. Agnelli in mitigation had his reasons for making an announcement on that occasion. But the sensation remained that it could and should have been handled better; that perhaps it would have been more appropriate to tie it in with the memorable opening of Juventus’s new stadium. Instead, it was mentioned amid a discussion about the club making a fresh capital injection after an “intolerable” financial loss, hardly the ideal moment to pay proper tribute to one of the most valuable players in its history. “It’s like breaking up with a lover of 20 years by text message,” wrote Luigi Garlando in La Gazzetta dello Sport.

    Reported to have not taken it well, Del Piero was diplomatic when the satirical show Striscia la Notizia caught up with him a few days later to give him the Tapiro d’Oro. “Let’s say the president reminded me of my contract expiring early,” he mused. Keen not to make anything more out of it, Del Piero left it there until later in the season when he conceded that “[Agnelli] surprised me. But a captain must never forget his duties and what he represents.”

    Recurrent not just among i delpieriani of Juventus’s support, but Italians in general, was the feeling that Del Piero deserved something more. He was very nearly the best thing the Old Lady never had.

    “Before joining Padova at 13. I had a trial some months earlier to go and play in Turin… but at another club, Torino!” Del Piero told France Football. “At the time they probably had the best academy in Italy. But my mother was categorical: ‘You’re only 12. You’re too young and Turin is a long way away’.”

    Once at Padova, legend has it that a Juventus scout famously came to watch one of his games. Unimpressed, he left a quarter of an hour from the end. Del Piero then scored twice. Destiny, it seemed, would have to intervene. And it did.

    A teenage Del Piero signed at Juventus’s headquarters in Piazza Crimea. It was 1993. Reflecting on that time, the great former player Giampiero Boniperti, then club president, wrote in his book una vita a testa alta: “I immediately took him to see the trophies. ‘Have you seen how many we have won?’ I asked. ‘I hope that you can contribute to making Juventus even greater’.”

    Del Piero did that and more.

    By the age of 22, he had won everything there was to win at club level. As of last week, he could count six Scudetti [or a record-equaling eight - like Beppe Furino, Ciro Ferrara, Giovanni Ferrari and Virginio Rosetta - if you include, as he does, the two revoked by Calciopoli] a Cadetto, a Coppa Italia, four Italian Super Cups, a Champions League, an Intercontinental Cup, the European Super Cup and of course the 2006 World Cup among his major honors.

    Over time, he surpassed the immaculate Gaetano Scirea as Juventus’s all-time leader in appearances. He eclipsed Boniperti himself as the club’s top scorer in Serie A and also in absolute with 289 goals.

    Kids up and down the peninsula, playing in the streets and squares of Turin, Milan, Rome and Naples, have attempted, while providing their own radio commentary, to score a gol alla Del Piero – emulating the looping cushioned volley with the outside of the foot against Fiorentina, the mazy dribbles from the wing before cutting inside the box and curling a shot into the top corner against Lazio and so many others, the pivot against River Plate, the backheel against Borussia Dortmund, the free-kick against Milan, the last gasp counter in added time of extra-time against Germany and the brace that earned a standing ovation from Real Madrid fans at the Bernabeu.

    Wherever Juventus called home throughout his career, he left his mark, finding the net at the Stadio Communale, the Delle Alpi, the Olimpico and the eponymous Juventus Arena. Del Piero is the thread that binds them all together. He is living history and from him, there are many lessons to be learned.

    Del Piero never showed anything but respect for Juventus. It bears remembering how, after he was presented with his first shirt in the introductory press conference following his transfer from Padova, he neatly and delicately folded the black and white jersey. He didn’t toss it to one side and leave it crumpled on the floor like other new signings. He valued it, as many would his loyalty.

    Del Piero always stood by Juventus even amid the doping allegations, the Calciopoli scandal and relegation to Serie B. He didn’t walk out like some of the others or abandon ship like Schettino. He assumed responsibility and led them out of the darkness back into the light. None of the other “simboli per sempre” – Omar Sivori, Boniperti, Roberto Bettega, Michel Platini and Dino Zoff – had their devotion to the club tested to the same degree. None of them had a day like that in Rimini on September 9, 2006 when Juventus’s first ever season in Serie B began, their shirts stripped of a Scudetto that was remembered in a tricolor wristband.

    For that service Juventus owe Del Piero a special gratitude. The club is what it is today in large part because of him. Separating one from the other in the collective imagination is an exercise in futility. They are indistinguishable. “Throughout the world Juventus is Del Piero,” opined former coach and mentor Marcello Lippi. “When you say his name it means Juve. I don’t know what happened between him and the club.”

    Understanding the whys and wherefores is possible. Agnelli, with all due respect for Del Piero, regardless of the rather clumsy way he has shown it, is of the opinion that the player is the past not the future of the club. Del Piero still feels he has so much more to give, not on the bench, but from the start. A bit-part player for much of this season, left on the sidelines even when Juventus’s strikers were misfiring, Del Piero proved decisive when called upon, scoring in the Coppa Italia semi-final against Milan, the Derby d’Italia with Inter, and then at home to Lazio when his winner appeared to greatly shift the momentum in the title race back in favour of his team.

    Knowing as much, for as competitive a soul as Del Piero’s, being out of the starting XI can’t have been easy. He has called it “the most complicated [season] of my life because a reality was placed in front of me which I had never known: the reality of playing little or not at all.”

    In an ideal world, Del Piero would start every remaining game of his career in a Juventus shirt. The inconvenient truth is that he has to contemplate playing elsewhere. “From June 30, I am out of contract,” Del Piero acknowledged. “I don’t know what to think about my future, it’s a huge change and it frightens me a little because it’ll be like leaving home for a second time. But I am living it as though it were one of the video games that I liked as a child, a new level to overcome.”

    And so, Sunday’s game against Atalanta was Del Piero’s last in front of his home fans. As an occasion it will certainly live long in memory. After the Turin born and bred academy graduate Luca Marrone put Juventus ahead, who else but Del Piero should double their lead and make all but sure that his club entered the history books as only the third team after Perugia in 1978-79 and Milan in 1991-92 to go an entire season unbeaten in Serie A.

    Receiving the ball from Emanuele Giaccherini outside of the area, the Juventus No.10 lined up his sights, and pitched a wonderfully precise swinging shot into the corner. Like no other to my mind he has a habit of scoring goals that are charged with emotion and sentiment. It’s enough to think about the step-over and dink against Bari in 2001 just days after his father lost his battle to cancer and the flick against Piacenza shortly after l’Avvocato, the great Juventus patron, Gianni Agnelli past away in 2003.

    This time each of his teammates gathered around him in a circle. They paused for a little while to share the moment and take it all in. There was an appreciation that this was the last time it would happen here in Turin.

    If it hadn’t already sunk in, then Del Piero’s substitution in the 57th minute brought it home. Seeing the fourth official hold up his board and Simone Pepe warming up to replace him, Del Piero stopped in his footsteps, raised his hands to the sky and waved to the stands, blowing kisses and taking a bow.

    As he trudged off the pitch, the Atalanta players clapped and pat him on the back. A cry of “un Capitano, c’è solo un Capitano” rang out followed by “another year, Del Piero another year.” After embracing goalkeeper Gigi Buffon, he walked up the stairs to take his place in the dug out, stopping to sign the autograph of a young Juventino.

    No sooner had he got sat down than the crowd beckoned him to stand again. Urged on by Mirko Vucinic and Claudio Marchisio, he stood up and accepted the applause, pumping his fist before embarking on an impromptu lap of honor as play continued around him. No one was watching the game. Once under the Curva, scarves and shirts were thrown, landing at Del Piero’s feet like roses tossed before an opera singer. “Grazie di Tutto,” went the next chant.

    Back near the bench, Buffon, resting his head on his palm, looked on in wonder, shaking his head. “In the next 150 years there will not be anyone like Del Piero. I was moved,” he said afterwards. He wasn’t the only one. Cameras panned around the ground showing fans crying. Del Piero had to fight to keep his feelings inside too, pretending to tie his shoelaces “to hide my tears.” Saying goodbye is never easy.

    Circuit completed, he descended into the dressing room at full-time, poignantly emerging last to walk the celebratory red carpet and lift the Scudetto trophy under a snowstorm of ticker tape. If he were ready to retire, then there could surely have been no better time than this given the club is back on top. But, as is abundantly clear from the title of his new book giochiamo ancora [Let’s Keep Playing], his intention is another. “I have a lifetime to be a director. I was born to play football, I am healthy and I want to continue to do so.”

    Now all that remains is this weekend’s Coppa Italia final against Napoli. After that it’s into the unknown for the generations that have grown up with Del Piero: the prospect of a Juventus without him.

    The closest he has ever previously come to wearing a shirt other than bianconero was at the end of his first season in Turin. It had been agreed that he’d be sent on loan to Parma. There was a meeting with their owner Calisto Tanzi, but the deal fell through after they signed Dino Baggio and felt their shopping was done. “If I’d changed jersey, everything might have taken a different path.”

    Like a character in a Robert Frost poem he is now taking the one less travelled. “I’m a bit out of practice,” Del Piero claims. “I haven’t been on the market for 19 years.” He drew the comparison in his book with “entering Narnia.” But perhaps the real fairytale would have been for Del Piero to go through the wardrobe and find a way to finish his career at Juventus. Instead, we wish him a happy ending elsewhere.

    Ciao Ale, Grazie di tutto.


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    Wonderful, enjoyed it.
    Asif mon bebe..
    Quote Originally Posted by C.Martin View Post
    For 3 years I have wondered why my friends kept calling Allegri for Augustus. I couldn't sleep at nights thinking about it. I've been sitting at my desk for hours every week trying to figure it out, coming up with calculations and formulas that weren't correct. Then it hit me, the answer was right in front me all time but I didn't notice it. Augustus was the greatest emperor of the Roman Empire, owning almost all of europe. People loved him. People feared him. It's the same with Allegri, although we know him better as Euromaxx. Allegri, greatest coach in the world at the moment, people love him. People fear him. We need to understand that. Allegri 4 life

    And why my female friend keep calling Allegri for Peter North I dont need to figure out.

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