Alessandro Del Piero Bio - Biography

Name Alessandro Del Piero
Height 5' 8"
Naionality Italian
Date of Birth 9 November 1974
Place of Birth Conegliano, Veneto, Italy
Famous for
Alessandro Del Piero (born November 9, 1974 in Conegliano) is an Italian football player. He usually plays as a forward or between the midfield and the strikers. He is not the tallest of forwards, and is more of a creative forward rather than a "goal poacher". Del Piero is renowned for his deadly finishing, and the ease in which he dribbles past defenders. He is an expert in dead ball situations, and seems to have the ability to hit the target from almost anywhere on the pitch. Del Piero started his professional career in 1991 with Padova of Italian Serie B. In 1993, he transferred to Juventus, and has been there ever since. With the Turin club, he won the Serie A championship six times (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, and 2005), the Champions League (1996), and the Toyota Cup (1996). His best season was in 1997-98, when he scored 21 goals in Serie A and finished top scorer in the UEFA Champions League with 10 goals, which included a peach of a freekick against Monaco in the semi finals. Del Piero struggled for form at the beginning of the 1998-99 season, whilst many doping allegations were wrongly aimed at him. In October he picked up a serious knee injury in the 2-2 draw with Udinese. This kept him out of action for the remainder of the season. Juventus struggled without him and limped home to a lowly 6th place in Serie A. Many people claim that Del Piero has never fully recovered from this injury, and therefore never quite fulfilled the potential he had shown at a very young age. His nickname is Pinturicchio, in reference to a joke by Gianni Agnelli when he belittled the emerging Del Piero to the master Roberto Baggio in a parallel between modest painter Pinturicchio from Perugia and the great Raphael. One of Del Piero's greatest strengths as a footballer is his versatility, which allows him to play in a variety of attacking positions. While he started his club career playing as a full-fledged striker, he very quickly matured into a more influential role, occupying the pivotal playmaker's position just behind the strikers. It is in this zone that his prowess as a creator of goals came to the fore. His creative abilities and potential were best utilised after Marcello Lippi took over as Juventus coach in the late 1990s. Lippi's incisive coaching acumen and his love for playing the "trident" in attack led him to give Del Piero increased opportunities to play the free role in a position the Italians like to call the Trequartista - a different kind of playmaker who plays just behind the strikers, yet not quite in midfield. Del Piero very quickly made this position his own, combining effectively with the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Filippo Inzaghi to form an ultra-creative Juventus strike force. Later on, his partnerships with Pavel Nedved in midfield and David Trezeguet upfront contributed enormously to Juve's continued success in Italy and Europe, as the club conquered two successive Scudettos (in 2002 and 2003) and finished runners-up to AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League (2003). Despite a great amount of success on the club level, Del Piero has generally disappointed playing for the Italian national team. Coming into the 1998 World Cup with huge expectations, he competed with fan favorite Roberto Baggio for a spot, and had some troubles because of a recent injury he picked up during the Champions' League final whilst playing for Juventus. Most notably, he incredibly missed several clear-cut chances against Norway. Two years later Del Piero became the main culprit for Italy's last minute loss in Euro 2000 final, again missing 2 clear-cut chances, which would have killed France off. However, he returned to the international scene in World Cup 2002 on the back of a very impressive season in Serie A, in which he lead Juventus to the title. He scored a goal against Mexico to send Italy through to the second round, but they would get no further. Even if Del Piero was one of Italy's best players in the tournament he was never really given the chance that he deserved. This was shown in the second round match against South Korea where Del Piero was substituted by the defensive minded coach, Giovanni Trapattoni. Del Piero also played for the Italian national team at Euro 2004. But again failed to impress. After Euro 2004, Del Piero faced another tough moment after Juventus replaced their Coach Marcello Lippi with Fabio Capello. Capello was not convinced of Del Piero's abilities and favoured the new signing from Ajax, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. However The Juve captain, fought back and scored 14 goals for the season, helping Juventus to their 28th Scudetto. However, Fabio Capello is still not convinced of Del Piero's abilities, and leaves him often on the bench despite showing great form when given the chance in less important matches. On January 10, 2006 Del Piero became the all time leading goalscorer for Juventus when he scored three times in a cup match against Fiorentina and took his total goals for the club to 185. The previous record holder was Giampiero Boniperti, who scored 182 goals for the club.

Alessandro Del Piero Photos