Superstar Alessandro Del Piero to arrive in Delhi for ISL | sports | Hindustan Times
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Superstar Alessandro Del Piero to arrive in Delhi for ISL

sports Updated: Sep 17, 2014 18:27 IST
Indian Super League

The moment that Delhi's football fraternity has been waiting for, will arrive on Thursday with star Italian forward Alessandro Del Piero making an entry into the city to play as a marquee player for Delhi Dynamos in the inaugural Indian Super League.

The ISL will be held in various venues across the country from October 12 to December 20.

"He is coming tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon, at 2.45, by Emirates Airways. People involved with Delhi Dynamos will go to the airport to give him a warm welcome," a source close to the franchise said about the 2006 World Cup winner's arrival.

"Wait is almost over. The Dynamic Dynamo, @delpieroale is coming home. Team #DelhiDynamos are awaiting his arrival," the Dynamos wrote on its twitter handle.

The 39-year-old Del Piero, a Juventus legend for life, was last month signed as Dynamos' marquee player, making him the ISL's biggest attraction and generating a lot of buzz over his arrival.

Del Piero, who was also negotiating for a stint with Hungarian club, Honved FC, before opting for the Delhi franchise, is also one of the brand ambassadors of the cash-rich tournament.

"I'm very enthusiastic about this adventure. It fits perfectly with the way I chose to move forward since I left Juve," Del Piero had said earlier.

Del Piero, also nicknamed 'Il Fenomeno Vero' or The Real Phenomenon, is the 10th all-time top-scorer in the Champions League and has featured in Fifa 100, a list of the top greatest living footballers compiled by Pele.

He has played alongside greats like Gianluigi Buffon and Zinedine Zidane, and managed to stand out. He arrived in Turin as a teenager in 1993 and spent 19 years, including 11 years as captain, at Serie A giants Juventus.

With Juventus, Del Piero won eight Serie A titles, a Champions League and a Coppa Italia. He has 91 international caps with the Azzuris and is remembered for scoring the second goal in the semifinal against Germany in the 2006 World Cup.

He later scored in the penalty shootout in the final against France, giving Italy its fourth World Cup title.

In all, Del Piero represented Italy in seven major international tournaments (Euro 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008; World Cup 1998, 2002, 2006), the second Italian footballer after Paolo Maldini to do so.

In 2012, Del Piero left Turin to join Sydney FC in the Australia A-League where he immediately struck a chord with the Aussie fans, before parting ways in April.

He won the Sydney FC Player of the Year award and Sydney FC Golden Boot in 2013 and also scored the A-League goal of the season for 2012-2013.

Footballing legend Diego Maradona once said: "He (Del Peiro) is different to Zinedine Zidane. He likes to play, he feels it in his soul. Between him and the Frenchman, I choose him."