Alessandro announces move to Sydney FC
TURIN, Italy - The Associated PressFormer Italy and Juventus forward Alessandro Del Piero is joining Sydney FC in a deal that will make him the highest-profile player in the A-League.
“For the next two years I suppose I can say that I’ll be Australian,” Del Piero said yesterday. “I’m starting a splendid and fantastic adventure. I couldn’t have chosen a better situation or a better place.”
The two-year deal is reportedly worth $2 million per season, which will make Del Piero the highest paid athlete in Australia’s four football codes, including rugby league, rugby union and Australian Rules.
The 37-year-old Del Piero reportedly turned down offers from English Premier League clubs Liverpool and Southampton. He was also linked with moves to the Middle East, China and Switzerland.
“We touched all the continents,” Del Piero said. “This choice is far away in terms of kilometers but it’s very close in terms of philosophy. ... I can’t wait to go and discover a country that everyone describes to me as fantastic.”
The A-League, which has had several teams fold in the last two years due to financial problems and dwindling attendance, needs Del Piero as a draw card. He was a member of Italy’s 2006 World Cup-winning team and scored a club-record 286 goals in all competitions over 19 seasons with Juventus.