Del Piero ends Sydney stay

Former Italy striker Alessandro Del Piero has decided not to renew his contract with Sydney FC.

Last Updated: 28/04/14 at 11:56 Post Comment

Alessandro Del Piero: Leaving Sydney

Alessandro Del Piero: Leaving Sydney

Former Italy striker Alessandro Del Piero has decided not to renew his contract with Sydney FC and has played his last game for the A-League club.

The 39-year-old's two-year deal expired earlier this month, when Sydney went down 2-1 to Melbourne Victory in the A-League elimination play-offs.

Del Piero met with club representatives on Monday and then issued a statement which began: "Australia, the moment has arrived to say 'arrivederci'."

He continued: "My adventure with Sydney FC is about to be concluded, and, even if it makes me rather sad, because I have had wonderful time here, I have communicated my decision to the club.

"I'm really grateful for the last two years and for the club's request for me to remain and with whom, I am happy to explore new opportunities to continue our relationship."

Sydney chairman Scott Barlow was sad to learn of Del Piero's decision not to stay on, but said talks will be taking place over ways to continue the former Juventus man's link with the Australian club.

"Today is bittersweet," Barlow said in a statement. "While we would have liked to see Alessandro remain at Sydney, his decision now allows us to further our discussions about some exciting new opportunities for our ongoing relationship and to build on the legacy that has been started.

"On behalf of everyone at Sydney FC, I would like to say thank you to Alessandro for the enormous contribution he has made to our club over the last two years.

"It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have him at our club and we look forward to seeing him in the near future when he is next back in Sydney."

The 2006 World Cup winner said he and his family had had "two wonderful years" in Australia and would now take some time to consider their next move.

"The moment has arrived to make some changes," he said. "I am well aware that I have given a lot and received even more. Now I just need some time to think over all the prospective opportunities for my future."

Barlow hailed the contribution made by Del Piero since his arrival Down Under in 2012 - he scored 24 goals in the two seasons, and brought a new level of interest to the A-League.

"Two years ago, Sydney FC signed one of the greatest players to have ever worn a football shirt, Alessandro Del Piero," he said.

"At the time, if you had said Del Piero would be playing in Australia, few people would have believed it possible.

"His signing was the biggest in Australian football history and it lifted Sydney FC and the A-League onto the world stage.

"Together we have achieved a lot and Sydney FC has grown in every way, with record crowds and memberships and huge interest in our club both domestically and internationally."


New Sky Bet customers: Free matched bet up to £30


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

hen players in their 30s leave Real Madrid, it's usually to Bolton Wanderers. I miss those days.

sailingmagpie
Top Ten CL Players Whetting Our Appetite

W

ow Pete, you would make an excellent stalker!

fouloleron
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

T

his specializing in mediocrity will only stop when Wenger and his entire back room staff are cleared out. Dortmund are everything Arsenal should be; in fact they're everything Arsenal thought they were, until they met this supreme doppelg nger.

dr soccer
The Bitter Taste Of Arsenal Déjà Vu

Footer 365

Kagawa: My heart stayed in Dortmund

Shinji Kagawa admits life at Manchester United was "particularly difficult", but the playmaker says his heart was always at Borussia Dortmund.

Sky Sources: Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer set to leave club

Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears set to leave the club following talks over his future, Sky sources understand.

Championship: Alex Tettey has signed a new two-year deal with Norwich City

Alex Tettey has signed a new two-year deal with Norwich City, with the option to extend for a further year.

Mail Box

I've Given It Some Thought: He's Got To Go

There is some more considered reaction to Arsenal and Liverpool's results, plus a big get well soon message for Jonas Gutierrez. And an apology to Merse...

B**locks To That, I'm Going To Sit In The Shed

Arsenal supporters given their understandable reaction to the debacle in Dortmund, whilst Liverpool fans weren't too impressed either. Still, at least they won...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property