Alessandro Del Piero Hangs Up Boots At Sydney FC, Hints At Desire To Return To Italy
The love affair between Australian football and ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO "is all but over" after Sydney FC confirmed the end of his playing career, according to Dominic Bossi of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The club and the Italian star have "hinted his intention to return to his homeland." Del Piero and Sydney FC "mutually agreed to part ways at the end of his current deal after two seasons that propelled the A-League and Australian football to unprecedented exposure." Sydney FC and Del Piero met on Monday "to discuss his future, and the two parties agreed that their relationship had come to an end." While the former Juventus captain "will not receive a formal send-off" in a Sky Blue jersey, Australians will have one final chance to watch Del Piero when he plays against his former club Juventus as part of the A-League All Stars match (SMH, 4/28). In Sydney, Tom Smithies reported the "sudden departure" came after the club "declined to re-sign him" on the A$4M ($3.7M) annual terms he earned since signing for the club in "a blaze of publicity" 18 months ago. Del Piero announced his exit by posting a message on his website. It read, "Australia, the moment has arrived to say arrivederci." Sydney said the club would seek to "continue Del Piero's relationship" with the Sky Blues. It is understood that "does not refer to any imminent plans" for Del Piero to begin his coaching career there (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 4/28).