On this day: Alessandro Del Piero makes Juventus league debut

On this day 23 years ago, a vibrant young 18 year old striker would make his league debut for Juventus against Foggia. Little did they know that he would become one of the most iconic players to ever play for the ‘the old lady’. His name is Alessandro Del Piero.  

Del Piero’s story begins at Serie B side Calcio Padova, where he perfected his craft from the age of just 13. By the age of 18, Del Piero became a wanted man, and was signed by Juventus for roughly €2.5 million.

Since then, just like high-school sweethearts, the pair never looked back as Del Piero went on to play 705 appearances for the club.

In just his second game, Del Piero scored his first Juventus goal against Reggiana. After successfully impressing manager Giovanni Trapattoni, the teenager earned his first starting appearance. The striker did not disappoint, scoring a hat-trick against Parma. The following season saw Juventus win their first Scudetto in nine years. Del Piero scored eight goals earning himself the nickname ‘Pinturicchio’ for his similarities to Roberto Baggio.

LEGEND STATUS

Juventus fans will be forever grateful to Del Piero for his loyalty to the club during the Calciopoli match fixing scandal in 2006. The dark period saw the departure of star players Vieira, Thuram and Ibrahimovic. Del Piero stuck by The White and Blacks and helped them return to Italy’s top flight after being relegated to Serie B for the first time in the clubs history.

Juventus are now a superpower in the Serie A, having won the last five consecutive titles.   

In his 19 year career, Del Piero scored 289 goals and won 19 trophies, which included a World Cup trophy for Italy in 2006.

Ari Charilaou