|By JOHN GRECO
Italian veteran Alessandro Del Piero says he is unconcerned about the immense pressure on his shoulders to live up to the hype of being Australian football's biggest-ever signing.
Still showing signs of jetlag at his first media conference on Monday after arriving in Australia 24 hours earlier, Del Piero said he was ready to get down to work with his Sydney FC team-mates ahead of the A-League season.
The World Cup winner will train with the Sky Blues for the first time on Tuesday and could have his first match in Saturday's friendly against Newcastle in Budgewoi.
Sydney and football fans alike know the 37-year-old for goal-scoring ability and impressive skills and will expect Del Piero to deliver on the club's AU$4 million investment immediately.
It is a lot of pressure, but Del Piero knows all about that.
"I know there's a lot of expectation, and I love that," he told reporters at Star Casino on Monday.
"I played 19 years with Juventus and in Juventus you have to win every game, every match, every year. Fortunately a lot of the time that happened.
"All my life I played to win and I'm here to win. [I'm not here] to pass the time or stay healthy with my family. I'm here because I trust in the win.
"I know it's hard because winning is not easy. On paper you write what you think and what's perfect to do but the real thing is to do it.
"It's a long way but I hope to do that and I'm here with this objective."
While Del Piero has not played a competitive match since the Coppa Italia final in May, he is confident his fitness levels are good with the start of the A-League less than three weeks away.
"I've been training for two months with my personal trainer and a young team in Italy," he said.
"I've done everything I can to stay in good condition. Now I need to join the team, to get to know the players and the coach and work out what he needs.
When signing with the Sky Blues earlier this month, Del Piero said he chose Sydney because he wanted to leave a legacy in the country and - now he is here - he hopes to help increase the A-League's popularity.
"First of all I'm here for Sydney FC and I'm completely focused for Sydney FC, then we will hope about the A-League blowing up day by day," Del Piero said.
"This is hard work, but one of the objectives all the people working in soccer, in the sport of the round ball.
"I really am fascinated by sports, I follow everything in the world and every sport."I saw the World Cup in 2011, the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, it's very close to here, I know for the Wallabies it is not great result, but it was a great moment for the sport. I hope it will be the same for the soccer here and for Australia."