At 36, Alessandro Del Piero, Juventus’ all time leading goal scorer and most capped player, who has been with this club since 1993, who has won five (or seven) Serie A titles with the club, one Champions League title, and probably more importantly, went down to Serie B with the club in 2006-2007, needs to be shown the way out by club president.
Speaking at a shareholders meeting, club president, Andrea Agnelli, announced that 2011-2012 will be Del Piero’s final season with Juventus, with his contract expiring when the season is over. Despite saying that The link between the Stadio Comunale, Stadio delle Alpi to Stadio Olimpico to the Juventus Stadium is our captain Del Piero. He wanted to stay with us for one more year, and this will be his last season wearing the black and white jersey.
With nearly 300 goals in 700 matches for the club (round numbers are better), Del Piero is far from his best, but despite his production obviously dropping, his influence and ability to do things other than scoring when he’s with the ball are still valuable and he can obviously still hold his own among the best of them in Italian League, which, lets face it, isn’t what it used to be when Del Piero, and all of us, where younger.
The greatest Italian player of the last 20 years? He might be. There’s Francesco Totti, Gianluigi Buffon and Fabio Cannavaro to challenge him for that crown. The greatest Juventus player of all time? It’s hard to compare with people from different eras, but I think he has a shot at that one as well. For all he’s achieved with the club, and especially for sticking through the relegation mess, Del Piero deserves to retire at the time he wishes to, at his own terms. He deserves it, and the Juventus fans deserve it.