Top 10 Alessandro Del Piero Moments Of His Career

As the Juventus legend celebrates his 36th birthday, count down 10 of his greatest moments from his career…
10) Dortmund Part 1 - Del Piero Special Against Borussia - 1995

Early in his career in particular, Del Piero was renowned for cutting in from the left and curling home wonder-goals into the far top corner from outside the area. The most famous came as a 21-year-old in the 1995-96 Group Stages of the Champions League during a 3-1 win at Borussia Dortmund. Westfalenstadion was a happy hunting ground for Del Boy, as we will see later.

9) Real Madrid Part 1 - Young Del Piero Outdoes Young Raul - 1996

Del Piero’s record against Real Madrid during his career has been truly magnificent, and the Blancos must be sick of the sight of the Italian attacker. In the 1995-96 quarter final, Real Madrid won the first leg 1-0 thanks to an 18-year-old Raul goal. In the return in Turin, Del Piero was the star of the show as he inspired the Old Lady to a 2-0 victory. Alex levelled the aggregate scores on 16 minutes with a trademark free kick before Michele Padovano hit the decisive second. Juventus went on to win the Champions League this season, Alex a key protagonist with six goals in 11 games.

8) Intercontinental Cup Hero - 1996

Back in the days when the Intercontinental Cup was actually a prestigious trophy between the best European side and the best South American side, Del Piero proved to be the matchwinner in the 1996 edition against a River Plate side featuring Ariel Ortega, Julio Cruz, Marcelo Salas and Enzo Francescoli. With just nine minutes remaining, the hitman swivelled on a sixpence to crash the ball into the roof of the net and make Juventus champions of the world for the first time in 11 years.

7) Backheel Brilliance – 1997 & 2002

As well as his free kicks and edge-of-the-area far corner curlers, Del Piero has also become famous for his backheel and flicked goals. The most high profile arrived in the 1997 Champions League final Juve lost 1-3 to Dortmund, and the most memorable during the Turin derby of 2002 when Alex somehow acrobatically turned the ball in during a crushing 4-0 success.

6) Capocannoniere - 2008

At the age of 33, Del Piero finally managed to lift the Capocannoniere crown by becoming top scorer in Serie A for the 2007-08 season. Del Piero fired home 21 goals, and in the process became only the second Italian ever – after Paolo Rossi – to win successive Capocannoniere titles in two different leagues, having done so in Serie B the year before. In 2008, ADP also became Juve’s new all-time appearance holder. He has since broken numerous club records, including the all-time Juventus scoring total.

5) Prince Of Monaco – 1998

Del Piero’s best individual club season of his career was in 1998 when he hit 32 goals in 47 games in all competitions, and was Champions League top-scorer. His seasonal highlight was in the semi final against Monaco when he scored four goals. A hat-trick in the first leg in Turin, which included the best free kick of his career past Fabien Barthez, and a stunning volley in the second leg in Monte Carlo as Juve won 6-4 on aggregate.

4) Real Madrid Part 2 – Del Piero Humiliates Hierro - 2003

Seven years after first downing Real Madrid, Del Piero did it again – this time in the semi final. The Galacticos, with Raul, Ronaldo, Luis Figo and former Juventino Zinedine Zidane in their line-up led 2-1 from the first leg as they travelled to the Stadio Delle Alpi. In Turin, Del Piero created the opener for David Trezeguet before scoring a brilliant second as he turned Fernando Hierro in knots before firing home. Juve won 3-1 on the night but, minus star man Pavel Nedved, lost on penalties in the final to Milan at Manchester’s Old Trafford.

3) Dortmund Part 2 - Del Piero World Cup Special Against Germany – 2006

For all his success at club level, Del Piero had to wait a long time before he conquered the international stage. At the age of 31, Alex had endured a somewhat frustrating World Cup experience in Germany when he was summoned from the bench for the second half of semi final extra time against the hosts. In a gripping, thrilling encounter, Del Piero provided an extra spark for the Azzurri as they scored two dramatic goals in the 119th and 120th minute to break German hearts in Dortmund. Del Piero’s corner eventually ended with Fabio Grosso whipping home before the ex-Padova star killed off Die Mannschaft with a curling effort of his own. Del Piero then scored in the penalty shootout final win over France as he fulfilled his childhood dream of lifting the World Cup.

2) Real Madrid Part 3 – Standing Ovation At The Bernabeu - 2008

Juventus were struggling badly at the start of the 2008-09 season and coach Claudio Ranieri seemed on the brink of the sack until two magical Del Piero performances home and away against Real Madrid in the Champions League group stages saved him. At home, Juventus won 2-1, with Alex thundering home a stunning 30-yarder. But it was away in the Spanish capital, where Del Piero produced perhaps his greatest ever display. The veteran opened the scoring on 17 minutes by curling home a beautiful left footer into the bottom corner, and doubled Juve’s lead for a 2-0 win with another trademark curling freekick. Such was Del Piero's magical showing that, in scenes reminiscent to Ronaldinho in 2005 and Diego Maradona in 1983, he was granted a standing ovation by the whole Bernabeu when substituted for Paolo De Ceglie seconds before the final whistle.

1) That Goal Against Fiorentina – 1994

Del Piero was already regarded in 1994 as a wonderkid, but this was the goal that announced to the world just what a special player Pinturicchio really was. Juventus were trailing 2-0 at home to Gabriel Batistuta’s Fiorentina with just 17 minutes remaining. Gianluca Vialli then scored twice in quick succession before with just three minutes remaining Del Piero scored the most famous goal of his Juve career by latching onto a raking 50 yard long ball and volleying it first time into the top corner with the side of his foot. This strike made Del Piero a household name, began the process that would see Roberto Baggio leave the club, and gave Juve the belief to go on and win their first Scudetto for nine years.

Any special moments we have left out? Please leave your comment below...