Alessandro Del Piero arrives in Wollongong for A-League All Stars clash: photos


Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero turns 40 later this year, but is adamant he still has plenty to offer on the pitch, even if his days in Australia appear numbered.

The superstar attacker arrived in Wollongong on Monday and trained with the All Stars squad for the first time ahead of their clash with his former club, Italian champions Juventus, on August 10.

Del Piero is expected to feature in the A-League All Stars friendly with the Young Socceroos at WIN Stadium on Tuesday night.

He will captain the All Stars in the friendly against the Bianconeri but looks poised to round out the squad's six-day camp in the Illawarra against some of Australia's best young talent on Tuesday.

When asked if he hoped to feature in the match, the Italian said that some game time would be good for his confidence after landing in the country on Sunday.

"Probably yes [I will play]. We will have to see [Tuesday] morning when I wake up for the training. If I do have the opportunity to get some minutes, that would be OK," Del Piero, who turns 40 in November, said.

All Stars coach Josep Gombau confirmed that every player in his squad would be available for the match, which kicks off at 7pm.

"I am not saying I will start someone but everyone is here because they did a good job last season and I think for me it is necessary that they play," he said.

The Young Socceroos clash could be one of the final occasions Australian football fans get to see Del Piero in action.

The former Sydney FC marquee is uncontracted for the next campaign but confirmed he still held aspirations to play on.

"I have followed my passion since I was 19 years old. I think I am in good shape to play on again and play for one more year," Del Piero said.

"This is my idea. But at the end it is not an easy moment for me to understand what is the best to do.

"There are more options for me outside, not only inside the pitch but outside.

"At the end of the day it is good because I can reflect more about my future and I want to chose after this game.

"I will sit with my family, my manager and everyone and decide what is the best for me."

Del Piero said he has kept contact with Sydney FC and the FFA but had "nothing concrete" planned for the new season.

Nevertheless, Sunday's appearance with the A-League All Stars could be his last in Australia.

It would be a fitting finale to his time in the country against his former club.

"This is a special event, not only for me, but for the Australian federation and all the players," Del Piero said.

"I think it is a very good moment for showing how Australian football is at the moment and the level of players and the level of the game.

"I am feeling all right , I am feeling OK. I am excited to come face-to-face with my former team but I don't know what will happen because it is a very unique situation."

Del Piero spent the best part of two decades at Juventus and is likely to play against many of his old teammates for the first time.

He admitted to engaging in some friendly banter leading up to the clash.

"My phone, especially in the last week has been very busy. Messages and phone calls. All of them, also part of the staff, I know everyone," he said.

"They are on a trip at the moment and are excited to arrive in Sydney and Australia. I have had a good time together in the past."


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