Del Piero: Berlusconi wanted me at AC Milan and now I'm a free agent...

The Rossoneri wanted to take the Padova academy product to San Siro in 1993 but were put off by the asking price

Alessandro Del Piero has revealed that AC Milan tried to sign him before his move to Juventus, and jokingly pointed out that if club owner Silvio Berlusconi is still interested in his services, he is now a free agent. 

The 40-year-old started his illustrious playing career at Padova before being bought by the Bianconeri in 1993 for an estimated €2.6 million.

Del Piero became a legend in Turin, breaking the club's appearances and goals records before departing for Sydney FC in 2012. 

However, the former Italy international, who is now looking for a new club following a short spell with Delhi Dynamos, has revealed that his career could have turned out very differently.

"In 1992, before I went to Juve, Berlusconi asked me," Del Piero told Gazzetta dello Sport. "But Agradi, the sporting director at Padova, asked for a lot of money and I went to Juve instead.

"However, I'd say one thing to Berlusconi: I'm a free agent now, so if you still want me ...

"Joking aside, I'm happy that he rated me. For Milan, and for football, Berlusconi has been very important.

"He chose the right people on his staff and he transmitted an innovative mentality.

" [Arigo] Sacchi's Milan was a reference point for everyone. There was the clear understanding that that Milan changed football."

Indeed, Del Piero revealed ahead of Saturday's eagerly awaited Serie A showdown between Juventus and AC Milan in Turin that even the Bianconeri hold the Rossoneri in the highest esteem. 

"It's a rivalry that's a little like that of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in tennis," the attacker explained.

"There's a desire to win and to beat the other, yet always a great respect between two champions.

When pressed for a prediction, Del Piero plumped for a 2-1 victory for Juve, revealing that he fully expects his old side to claim a fourth consecutive Serie A title - despite the best efforts of Roma, who have struggled since the turn of the year.

"I read criticism of Roma, but the reality is that Juve are having another extraordinary campaign," he added.

"The consistency of their results is making the difference once again."

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