From an early age I was a big fan of Juventus FC and in the mid 90's one player in particular became my idol: the striker Alessandro Del Piero. In 1982 Alex made his debut in Serie A in Padua and, after an excellent championship, he joined the Juventus team in 1993 and ended his adventure after almost 20 years, in 2012. Alessandro has great talent and excellent ball possession, skilled both with the feet but also with the head, despite not being a giant. His Juventus debut began on a gloomy day and Juventus were hosting Fiorentina at home and at the end of the first half they lost 1-2. Entered at the beginning of the second half Alex scored two goals, the second is still recorded in my mind after almost 30 years, with a lob from the edge of the air, surprising the opposing defense and the goalkeeper. From that moment on, all the fans understood who Alex Del Piero was and what contribution he would make to the team in future years.
A particularly incredible year was 1995 when the player scored numerous goals with a very precise technique, defined in the Del Piero or Del Piero style, that is a shot from the left corner of the penalty area towards the furthest corner of the goalposts. This name was coined by the sports press underlining the great technical skills of the player, being a very precise shot and difficult to reproduce. Alex's contribution was key to the 1996 Champions League victory, forming an incredible trio with Gianluca Vialli and Fabrizio Ravanelli, an impressive attack that earned them the championship win. In 1998, at the height of his physical and athletic form, the Juventus striker suffered a serious injury during the championship game against Udinese, injuring his cruciate ligaments and causing a long stop, followed by a slow recovery. It was the most difficult moment of his career and he has perhaps never reached his highest level of football expression.
In 2006 he participated with the Italian national team at the World Cup in Germany and his goal in the semifinal against the team that hosted the tournament remained historic, projecting the team to the final against France and winning the world cup. His career with the Turin club ended in 2012 for one last foreign experience in Australia.
Alessandro was not only the undisputed Juventus captain for his football skills but above all for his exemplary behavior on the pitch. A player who is always calm, respectful of opponents and rules, has never quarreled with any teammate or opponent, all national opponents and foreign clubs have always had respect for the person and I still remember the applause of the opposing public at the end of matches, including Real Madrid and Barcelona fans. He has never won the Golden Ball in his career, a trophy that I would have awarded him with closed eyes for his skill and for the valor of the football he represented. I look forward to the day when he will return to his Juventus as a coach.