Hundreds greet Del Piero in Australia


Hundreds of fans greeted former Juventus great Alessandro Del Piero when he touched down in Australia on Sunday to begin a two-year stint with Sydney FC, in a major coup for the A-League.
The Italian legend, 37, received an enthusiastic reception as he landed in Sydney from a 500-strong crowd who waited for hours hoping to catch a glimpse of their idol.
“I am here not for the end of my career. I am here for the start of a new career,” Del Piero, who spent 19 years at Juventus, told reporters before being whisked away to a waiting car.
“I play to win,” he added.
Del Piero opted for Sydney FC ahead of clubs including Premier League giants Liverpool, on a two-year contract reportedly worth US$2 million a season.
His signing has been hailed as a significant moment for Australia’s A-League, which is entering its eighth season but has struggled over the years with patchy crowds and financial troubles.
The international forward scored 208 goals in 513 appearances for Juventus and was their skipper.
Football Federation Australia hopes he will boost attendances and corporate support for the A-League, as well as improve the standard.