The legendary No.10 waved goodbye to Juventus after 19 years, scoring a goal and making a mid-game lap of honour against Atalanta in MayThe votes are in. Having revealed yesterday who had won Goal.com's Player and Coach of the Season prizes in Serie A, with Andrea Pirlo and Antonio Conte picking up the awards, today we announce your vote for the most memorable moment in Italy's top flight this term. And the winner marks a Juventus treble, as Alessandro Del Piero's final goodbye was ranked the readers' most iconic image of 2011-12.
The Bianconeri legend played his final league game for the Old Lady after 19 years at the club when turning out against Atalanta at Juventus Stadium on May 13, and after netting an excellent first-half goal, he was given a tremendous ovation after being substituted.
But it didn't stop there. With the crowd chanting for a closer look at their hero, Del Piero went on to perform a lap of honour around the pitch while the game was still going on behind him!
|HOW YOU VOTED
|1. Del Piero Serie A swansong - 60.65%
2. Muntari's phantom goal - 27.35%
3. Morosini mourned - 10.64%
4. Pato stays at Milan - 1.35%
Il Pinturicchio's afternoon was later topped off when he lifted the Scudetto, the eighth time he has done so, and the fifth as club captain. It really was the perfect way to complete his Serie A story with the club, and he was the toast of the party in the celebrations around Turin later that night.
Del Piero's moment saw off the competition in our poll with some ease, though the most controversial decision of the season was picked up by 27.35 per cent of you as the most vivid memory of 2011-12.
Sulley Muntari had appeared to put AC Milan 2-0 up in the Scudetto showdown against Juventus in February, but Gianluigi Buffon clawed the ball back from a position well over the goal-line. With referee Paolo Tagliavento having originally ruled that it was a goal, his assistant Roberto Romagnoli, who was perfectly placed to see the valid effort, chose to keep his flag by his side.
The non-award came back to bite the Rossoneri, who conceded a late equaliser to Alessandro Matri. While Milan held a lead of seven points in late March, they would eventually throw the title away, with CEO Adriano Galliani never shying away to remind people the significance of the disallowed goal.The squabbles of day-to-day calcio were put into context on April 14 with the tragic death of Piermario Morosini. The on-loan Livorno midfielder collapsed during the first half of his side's trip to Pescara and was later pronounced dead in the local hospital.
As news filtered through, Italian football fell into a period of mourning, with all matches over the following week postponed as the FIGC chose to allow team-mates, colleagues and friends of Morosini to come to terms with the loss. There were magnificent showings of support for the player's sister, as well as touching displays of affection at the memorial service held in his honour. Over 500 of our readers polled said this was what would stay with them longest of all the events of 2011-12.
Finally, back in January, a deal had looked set to be done that would send Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato to Paris Saint-Germain after four and a half years at Milan. However, in a dramatic turnaround, the former Internacional man pledged his future to the Rossoneri, meaning a collapse of not only his €35 million move, but also the proposed transfer of Carlos Tevez from Manchester City to Milan. Many may fairly claim that Pato's decision helped to decide the title races in both Italy and England!
But Del Piero's farewell was the moment the readers voted for, and while the legendary figure will no longer wear the black and white shirt, it was quite a picture to implant in the mind of those who have cheered him over the past 19 years.