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For the next two years I am Australian, declares new Sydney FC signing Del Piero

The legendary Italian striker is delighted to have completed his switch to the A-League side, where he hopes to experience a new way of life

Alessandro Del Piero has jokingly remarked he will assume Australian citizenship for the next two years, after being unveiled by Sydney FC on Wednesday.

The forward saw his 19-year allegiance with Juventus severed earlier in the summer, but will now continue his career with the A-League club, where he has agreed a two-year deal worth around €2 million per season.

Speaking at his official presentation, Del Piero talked of his excitement at being offered the chance to sample a new culture and write his own legacy into Australian football.

"For the next two years, I am Australian," he said at a press conference held in Turin. "I'm happy to have signed with Sydney and for the next two years I will play with them.

"A lot of clubs contacted me, Italian teams too and I thank all of them. Today my new adventure starts and my emotions are mixed.

"I thank Sydney for this opportunity and their fans that have already adopted me. I will discover a fantastic city and a fantastic country. I am grateful to my family for being with me at every step of the way.

"I will continue to cheer for Juventus. In Australia I will be able to deepen my passion for rugby. Above all I'm here to score a lot of goals and to try to improve Australian football with my experiences.

"I hope Australian people love football."

Del Piero had been reportedly coveted by the likes of Celtic, Tottenham and Sion, while Liverpool were also credited with an interest following their failure to land a striker on transfer deadline day.

"They were one of the clubs, amongst the non-Italian sides [interested], and I was surprised to be contacted by them," Del Piero said of the Reds' interest.

But it appears the delegation of Sydney CEO Tony Pignata and Australia-based agent Lou Sticca, who visited Turin to clinch the signing, was enough to convince the World Cup winner that his future lies in the A-League.


"This signing is a major coup for Sydney FC and marks a historic day for football in this country," Sydney chairman Scott Barlow said in a club statement. "This is for all Australian football fans.

"Alessandro Del Piero is a global icon of the game and we are honoured he has chosen Sydney FC, ahead of many other options, as the club where he will begin the next chapter of his illustrious football career."

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