Del Piero…34 years young

November 6, 2008

Italy coach Marcello Lippi doesn’t want him, his predecessor Roberto Donadoni wasn’t keen, but Juventus striker Alessandro Del Piero just keeps on coming up with the goods.

Few visiting players get standing ovations at the Bernabeu, but Il Capitano deserved it after two sublime strikes in Juve’s shock 2-0 win over Real Madrid on Wednesday which sent the in-form Turin club to the Champions League last 16.

Del Piero had already outshone that other great talisman Raul by scoring another beauty in Juve’s 2-1 home win over Real two weeks ago.

He is surely in the best form of his long and successful career, which kicked off when he played in Juve’s 1996 Champions League-winning side.

He is undoubtedly the most famous Italian still playing the game and yet he has only ever been a bit part player for Italy, playing as a substitute for most of their triumphant 2006 World Cup campaign and sneaking into the Euro 2008 squad after finishing top of the Serie A scoring charts last term.

Lippi has said he wants to look at other players during Italy’s 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign, but where will he find better than Ale?

Wednesday’s glorious free kick past Iker Casillas followed another deadball special in last weekend’s 2-0 win over AS Roma.

With Roberto Carlos winding down at Fenerbahce (and never actually that accurate), Ronaldinho feeling his way at AC Milan and David Beckham flitting between clubs, Del Piero in my mind is the best free kick taker in the world. You always think he is going to score or force the keeper into a mighty fine save. 

Many pundits have criticised Del Piero by saying he is now too slow, I have done it myself, but every time he roars back and silences the doubters.

Even Juve fans have been known to knock him, yet this was the man who stuck with the club in their darkest hour when they were demoted to Serie B in 2006 for a match-fixing scandal. He is also Juve’s record goalscorer and appearance holder.

He was not included in this year’s nominations for the Ballon D’Or or FIFA World Player, and surprisingly has never come close to winning either. 

On Sunday Del Piero celebrates his 34th birthday and will play for Juve at struggling Chievo Verona.

The travelling Juve fans should give him a standing ovation of their own.

PHOTO: Juventus striker Alessandro Del Piero celebrates his second goal against Real Madrid during their Champions League match at the Bernabeu, Nov. 5, 2008. REUTERS/Andrea Comas


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A true legend. I will always remember the backheeled goal against Borussia Dortmund in the 1997 Champions League Final

Posted by gwto | Report as abusive

He is a fantastic player. There’s no doubt his form has deserted him during some periods of his career, but looking at him last night against Real Madrid you would think he is to be 24, not 34! A class act and a quality finisher.

Let’s hope the Juve fans show him so at the weekend.

Posted by Neil | Report as abusive

Juve are an average team but Del Piero the magician makes them look like a top class outfit at times.

Posted by Red Devil | Report as abusive

[…] Source Share and Enjoy: […]

Posted by Del Piero…34 years young | Soccer News Info | Report as abusive

Ale also scored the second goal against Germany in the 2006 World Cup, pushing the Italian team to the final

Posted by Juan | Report as abusive

I love it because it really rubs it in the face of all the nay sayers who wrote him off. maybe if italy had played him more instead of that dud Toni they might have done something in the european champs.

Posted by sisyphus | Report as abusive

is there a better free-kick taker in Europe? Maybe Juninho or Pirlo, but it’s hard to argue against ADP.

Posted by Marcus O’Mard | Report as abusive

That’s a really good question, Marcus. He probably doesn;t get the credit he deserves for free kicks.
In Spain they used to say Beckham was the best, even when Juninho was clearly better at the time. Last time I saw Juninho was playing against Bayern in the CL a few weeks back and he caused them plenty of problems with his free kicks.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

didn’t Real look at any match video? the Del Piero free-kick was pretty much identical to the one he took on Matchday 8 against Roma, Casillas didn position that wall very well, not that it would have made a difference.

Posted by Kevin | Report as abusive

didn’t Real look at any match video? the Del Piero free-kick was pretty much identical to the one he took on Matchday 8 against Roma, Casillas didn position that wall very well, not that it would have made a difference.

Posted by yuxia | Report as abusive

[…] above question came up in Mark’s blog about Del Piero (see below) and it stuck in my mind after my colleague Andre Assier interviewed Juninho this […]

Posted by Friday afternoon question: Who’s the best free kick taker? | Soccer News Info | Report as abusive


Posted by francesco | Report as abusive

Ale just scored his third stunning free kick in three games in a 2-0 win at Chievo on his 34th birthday…

Posted by Mark Meadows | Report as abusive

Real Madrid C.F…

Hala Madrid!…

Posted by Real Madrid C.F | Report as abusive